Research and Articles

Placenta – Worth Trying? Human Maternal Placentophagy: Possible Benefit and Potential Risks Jena University: Johnson SK, Groten T, Pastuschek J, Rödel J,  Markert UR (Sep 2018)

Maternal Placenta Consumption causes no harm to newborns: ScienceDaily May 2018

Human placentophagy: Effects of dehydration and steaming on hormones, metals and bacteria in placental tissue. Jena University: Johnson SK, Groten T, Pastuschek J, Rödel J, Sammer U, Markert UR (May 2018). Elsevier Sciencedirect.

Research shows how placenta umpires fight for nutrients between pregnant mother and foetus: News Medical Life Sciences Sept 2016:

Afterbirth: Eat it, Burn it, Bury it under a Tree: Chapter from ‘Adventures in Human Being’ by Gavin Francis 2015

Presence & Concentration of 17 hormones in human placenta processed for encapsulation and consumption: UNLV: Young, Benyshek, Gryder, Zava & Kimball (April 2016)

Placentophagy Survey (Selander, Cantor, Young and Benyshek 2013): A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption By Jodi Selander a , Allison Cantor b , Sharon M. Young c & Daniel C.  Benyshek c.

Does eating placenta offer postpartum benefits? The British Journal of Midwives July 2012;  Written by Michelle Beacock – Student Midwife, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire and NCT Antenatal Teacher.

Fire Hypothesis (Young, Benyshek and Lienard 2012)

In Search of Placentophagy (Young and Benyshek 2010)

Placentophagies in Humans and nonhuman mammals
By Kristal, DiPirro, Thompson.

PLACENTAL ENCAPSULATION AND POSTPARTUM HEALTH Jodie Salender, May 2012

Pathology of the Human Placenta 
By Kurt Benirschke, Peter Kaufmann.

Human placenta as a ‘dual’ biomarker for monitoring fetal and maternal environment with special reference to potentially toxic trace elements.
Part 3: Toxic trace elements in placenta and placenta as a biomarker for these elements  G.V. Iyengar A. Rapp.

Selenium, cadmium, lead, and mercury concentrations in human breast milk, in placenta, maternal blood, and the blood of the newborn
P. Schramel, S. Hasse and J. Ovcar-Pavlu.

Stem Cells from Human Placenta can cure Diseases – Video from Oakland Hospital, USA

Stem Cells from Placenta show potential in treating Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and More
BY Neal Ungerleider Tuesday 29th March 2011.

Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone suppression during the postpartum period: implications for the increase in psychiatric manifestations at this time
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol 81, 1912-1917, Copyright © 1996 by Endocrine Society. Study showing low CRH Hormone levels post-birth – CRH (stress reducer hormone – found in high levels in the placenta).

Wound Healing Activity of Human Placental Extract in Rats
Acta Pharmacol Sin, 22nd December 2001  –  Finding human placental extract has potent power of inducing collagenous growth indicating its proficiency in wound healing.

The Impact of Fatigue on the Development of Postpartum Depression
Elizabeth J. Corwin, Jean Brownstead, Nichole Barton, Starlet Heckard, and Karen Morin.

Have we forgotten the significance of postpartum iron deficiency?
Lisa M. Bodnar, PhD, MPH, RD,a,* Mary E. Cogswell, DrPH, RN,b Thad McDonald, MDc.

Mark B. Kristal, Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA Received 4th January 1991.

Placentophagia: A Biobehavioral Enigma
(or De gustibus non disputandum est) MARK B. KRISTAL Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Amherst, NY 14226 Received 2nd February 1980.

Full-Thickness Skin Wound Healing Using Human Placenta-Derived Extracellular Matrix Containing Bioactive Molecules  Ji Suk Choi PhD, Jae Dong Kim MS, Hyun Soo Yoon PhD, Yong Woo Cho PhD NCBI 2012

Articles from Journals, Websites or Blogs

Placenta in Chinese Herbal Medicine

The Bridge of Life: Options for Placentas
Written by British midwife Kelly Graff; Published by Midwifery Today 2008.

Placentophagy: Midwives Chronicle 1984 by Mary Field RGN SCM

Placenta Recipes – Mums 35 Plus

Medicinal Uses of the Placenta  The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA

Placenta: The Gift of Life BOOK

The Amazing Placenta
By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE, About.com Guide

I’m Going to Eat My Placenta
posted by Kiri Westby 28th June 2010 5:08 pm.

Placenta Humanum (Welsh) written by Kathy Biggs BA(HONS),LWSH,RGN. Linda Gwillim MCH.RSHom, 2000

Books that recommend the use of the placenta post-birth:

  • SEX, TIME AND POWER – HOW WOMEN’S SEXUALITY SHAPED HUMAN EVOLUTION       Author – Leonard Shlain

” The fifth major cause of iron depletion in Gyna sapiens is not so obvious as the previous four but nontheless significantly increases her risk of developing an iron-deficiency anemia.  The transfer and loss of iron associated with gestation and brith exist to a lesser degree in other mammalian mothers but still pose a problem.  To counter it, Mother Nature equipped females of the other mammalian species with a vital instinct-an urgent hunger driving them to consume their offspring’s placenta.  A plump souffle of meaty iron, amino acids and essential fats, the placenta is the consummate first meal a mother should partake of immediately after the ordeal of delivery. It is the perfect replacement for the very nutrients she lost just minutes earlier, because a freshly expelled placenta contains the iron equivalent of one to two blood transfusions. Gyna sapiens have lost her craving for this delicacy.  Our closest relatives, chimpanzees, dine with gusto on their afterbirth immediately after delivering their infants.”   pg. 28-29.

  • BIRTH – THE SUPRISING HISTORY OF HOW WE ARE BORN                                 Author – Tina Cassidy

“In the 1970’s, placentophagy became part of radical home birth customs, particularly in the San Francisco area.  One 1980 estimate in Scientific Digest said 5 percent of such West Coast deliveries involved consuming the afterbirth; the East Coast rate among home-birthers was about 1 or 2 percent.  It is unclear how many of the placentophagists were vegetarians, but probably many were.  They considered the placenta to be sacred, and, of course, because the organ gave life and nothing was killed to put it on the table, it was considered an honor to consume it.”    pg. 218

  • PLACENTA: THE GIFT OF LIFE                                                                     Author – Cornelia Enning

“Throughout the world generations have passed down knowledge of how ingesting placenta helps a mother’s postpartum recovery.  Women using placenta remedies after birth feel stronger, are happier and can breastfeed more easily….Many conditions during birth, the postpartum period and nursing would not arise if we returned to the old custom of applying placenta remedies.”

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