There are two ways that a placenta can be processed. The first is referred to as the Traditional Chinese Method (TCM). In eastern medicine, it is believed that a woman must eat only “warming” foods for the first 40 days after birth so as to restore balance to her body. In the TCM, the placenta is steamed with “warming” foods prior to beginning the dehydration process. Thus, the placenta is prepared with “warming” foods such as lemongrass, peppers, lemon, and ginger. Most placenta encapsulators are not certified herbalists, so they will not include herbal infusions in their preparations. Herbs are tremendously powerful in their healing capabilities and should only be used by certified herbalists.
Those who prefer the TCM method claim that the placenta is inherently “cold” so it cannot do its job of helping to bring “warming” balance to the body. Some also believe that the steaming process is important to kill bacteria.
The other option for placenta preparation is raw. The preparation method is the same except that the placenta is not steamed with anything prior to dehydration. Many times this option is used by those adhering to a raw food diet. Proponents of the raw preparation method claim that the steaming process kills important enzymes, hormones, and nutrients that are beneficial to facilitate a mother’s healing.
One method is not superior to another, it’s just a matter of preference. Women who are indecisive can have half of their placenta prepared raw and the other half prepared with TCM!
What exactly is involved in the process of placenta encapsulation? How does it go from this amazing life-sustaining organ to a powder in a capsule? The process is really quite simple, and we will walk you through it.
After birth, the placenta must be stored on ice until the encapsulation process can begin. If for any reason the placenta encapsulation process cannot begin sooner than 48 hours after birth, it is sometimes necessary to freeze the placenta until it is time for processing. Most of the time, a placenta can be stored safely on ice for the first couple of days if necessary.
Prior to starting the processing, the encapsulator must sterilize the work area. Adhering to OSHA guidelines for safe handling is necessary to ensure safety for both the client and the encapsulator. All surfaces and tools are thoroughly cleaned to ensure sanitation and safety.
The encapsulator will then examine the placenta. She will remove the membranes and cuts off the cord. She will also remove any blood clots that she may see. This is to ensure that the placenta gets thoroughly dehydrated. The cord is also cut off prior to processing.
If the mother wishes to have the placenta prepared using the Traditional Chinese method, the placenta is then steamed with the herbal mixture for roughly 20 minutes.
Once the steaming is finished, the placenta is thinly sliced and the slices are laid on the dehydrator. The dehydration process takes several hours depending on the method chosen. A steamed placenta will dehydrate in about 8-10 hours, and a raw one will take closer to 16-18.
After dehydration is complete, the dried placenta is placed in a grinder that is used specifically for placentas. It is ground into a fine powder.
Once ground, it is placed into clear capsules and stored in an air-tight jar, then prepped for delivery to your house. It’s as simple as that!
Many women are enjoying the benefits afforded by taking advantage of placenta encapsulation. It certainly can’t hurt to have it done, even if you aren’t sure you are going to use the pills. That way, if you find that something comes up where your placenta pills may be of some benefit, they will be ready and available. And you never know what a help they may be to you.