In May 2015, our local UpNorthLive aired a special report on the rise in placenta encapsulation in the United States. While it was definitely met with the expected opposition by many, my phone has also been ringing off the hook, and my email inbox is filling with interest. And I'm guessing many of you that are arriving here right now have come from the link in the article. So, while I have you here, there were a couple of things that had been edited out of our original interview that didn't make it into the final piece, and I feel it important to bring them up:
- Studies. There are no formal studies done on the practice. All evidence has been anecdotal up to this point. However, news recently broke about massive funding received by the NIH to do a big study. Very exciting!
- Cannibalism: By definition, this is consuming the fat and muscle of the same species that has been killed for consumption. The placenta is neither. In fact, not only did nothing *die* to obtain this organ, something came to LIFE!
- The placenta as a filter organ/storage of toxins: The placenta filters toxins and puts them back into the mother's bloodstream to dispose of. It does not "catch and hold" toxins. However, it is important to disclose medications taken to your encapsulator when investigating partaking in this practice, as the molecular weight of certain medications may make it too heavy to pass through and is therefore retained by the placenta. The one other toxin issue with the placenta is for heavy smokers. Smoking releases heavy metals into your bloodstream, and these metals cannot pass through the placenta to be filtered back out. This is a contraindication for encapsulation.
- One other thing that wasn't discussed in our interview, but was mentioned in the article--the FDA's statement that they strongly recommend "that consumers avoid dietary supplements and other food products containing human placenta, as the risk of bacterial infection is significant"--the risk is present in ANY food. To be honest, your risk is higher at your local restaraunt or fast food place, or even if you consume deli lunchmeats. My husband and I grabbed lunch at a local deli-style fast(ish) food place about two weeks ago, and we watched in horror as the employee behind the counter handled everything in the kitchen and counters (doors, cabinets, containers--other people's food) with the same pair of gloves that he prepared our food with. And then kept them on as he prepared the next guy's sandwich. Those of us that prepare placentas, usually do so because we are health-conscious individuals to begin with, and prefer to keep our bodies treated well. Most of us believe in using the healing power of our placentas before contaminating our bodies with pharmaceutical toxins to try to treat the same things our placentas can. Which means we are going to guard that placenta like crazy ladies. We do this because we have a passion for helping other women experience what we know to be a miracle. And we have gone through extensive training in food handling and bloodborne pathogens to ensure that your placenta is safely prepared and treated at all times within our care. I promise you that you are at far less risk having your placenta prepared by me than you are when dining out. When you go to a food service place, only one person there is required to have a food handler's certification. I used to work in food service, and the things I could tell you I saw would horrify you. Usually only the manager on duty is required to have this certification, and they are very rarely the ones preparing your food or staying in the kitchen while it's being prepared. To be certified as an encapsulation specialist, each one of us has to carry this certification. If you eat fast food, then you should have zero fear of bacterial contamination if a certified encapsulation specialist preparing your placenta.
I also wanted to address their comment about the placenta possibly carrying disease--here's the thing--if it carries a disease, it's because it's a disease you already have! Placentas don't magically carry their own diseases and develop them out of nowhere. If you have HIV, ingesting your placenta won't change a thing. If you have STDs, ingesting your placenta won't change a thing.
Keep in mind that the FDA does not endorse vitamins like D, C, D, natural prenatals, or anything else not sold at your local pharmacy. They are the same ones who didn't dig the claims of amazing health benefits of walnuts and the idea that people may start putting their money into healing with food instead of pharmacy, so they now claim walnuts as a drug! I have a hard time taking them seriously after that move.
I plan to write out a lengthy blog about encapsulation in the near future, but I wanted to address this recent coverage directly. Feel free to keep the questions coming, should you have them. You may contact me by phone or email, as listed on the contact page. In the meantime, enjoy the video interview if you haven't already seen it from the article (and if you haven't read it, go do it!)!
CLICK HERE to view the video.