At Placenta Apothecary, the method we offer follows Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) guidelines of preparation. First, the placenta is rinsed and cleaned of blood clots, etc, before it is gently steamed over low heat with warming herbs in the steaming water. It is then dehydrated from this cooked state. These capsule are used as a deeply restorative postpartum tonic, balancing hormones, increasing milk supply, and re-building blood & chi.
Traditionally placenta capsules are used to help:
- balance your hormones
- enhance your milk supply
- increase your energy
- combat fatigue
Placenta capsules may help:
- you to recover more quickly from birth
- to bring the body back into balance
- prevent the “baby blues”
- shorten postpartum bleeding time
- assist the uterus to return to it’s pre-pregnant size
- increase postpartum iron levels
Studies show that placenta is extremely nutrient rich, high in iron, protein, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6 and of course, your own natural hormones, making it perfectly made for you, by you. Experts agree that the placenta retains hormones, and thus reintroducing them to your system may ease hormonal fluctuations.
TCM style capsules
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM has recognized the placenta as powerful medicine. It is used to augment the Qi, (energy), nourish the blood, and augment the kidney essence. Translation? Dried placenta is used to bring the postpartum mother’s body back into balance, replenishing what was lost during childbirth.
Cooking the placenta is an integral part of the formation and action of the medicine. The placenta is steamed with herbs, sliced thin and dehydrated. It is then ground into a powder and put into capsules. Adding heat to the placenta is part of what makes TCM style encapsulation unique. In Chinese medicine raw foods are generally considered cooling. Within the TCM framework, raw placenta is considered cooling and isn’t recommended in the postpartum as a general rule for the tonifying purposes of nourishing blood and restoring energy.
The standard dosage is up to 2 capsules, 3 times a day for the first 2 weeks. Some TCM practitioners suggest taking the pills with a little white wine, saying that it helps diffuse the placenta energy throughout the body. After 2 weeks you can start to decrease the dosage down to 1 or 2 pills a day as needed.
How many capsules will my placenta make?
Each placenta is different in size and substance so the amount of capsules it makes can vary from 90 to 150.
How long do I use my capsules?
The first two weeks are the most important and effective time to be taking the placenta. You can taper off after that or continue to take them at the original dosage. We encourage women to follow their body’s cues and adjust the dosage accordingly.
Is there anytime I should NOT take placenta capsules?
Placenta should not be taken if the body is fighting off a common cold, flu, or infection. If you should get a breast infection (mastitis), the placenta should not be taken until infection is cleared. If symptoms such as chills, fever, sneezing, aches, flushed cheeks, hot palms and feet or night sweats should occur, stop taking the capsules until the body has fought this off. The reason for this is because placenta is extremely tonifying in nature and can cause a pathogen to grow stronger and go deeper into the body.
When does the encapsulation process begin?
The encapsulation process should begin within 48 hours after birth. The placenta will generally be suitable for consumption for 7 days (refrigerated the entire time) but the capsules will not be as potent as when the encapsulation process begins earlier. If it is not possible to begin the process within the first 72 hours, the placenta should be frozen within the first 24 hours. Double-bag the placenta in gallon sized ziplock freezer bags. The placenta will be entirely thawed for TCM style encapsulation, which takes about 24 hours in the refrigerator. It does not need to be thawed entirely to make the raw capsules.
How long does the process take?
We make two visits, each lasting roughly an hour.
What do I need to provide?
Placenta encapsulation is done in your kitchen. In addition to your placenta, we’ll need access to counter space, your sink and stove. We'll use a cooking pot and sharp knife from your kitchen. We bring all other supplies for encapsulation and clean-up.
How do I store my capsules?
Placenta capsules should be stored in the refrigerator while being used. Keep capsules dry. Store any remaining capsules in the freezer for long-term use. Placenta capsules will last at least 1 year if stored properly and possibly longer.
The information on this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The services offered by Placenta Apothecary are not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Families who choose to utilize the services on this page take full responsibility of their own health and for researching and using the remedies.