Have you ever wondered why eating of placenta becomes a trend? Are you pregnant or expecting a baby, if you’re a husband or expecting father, would you eat or allow your wife to eat her placenta? Have you heard eating of placenta can raise your energy and breast milk quantity?

Are you wondering if it’s really true people eat their placenta? Is it cannibalism to eat your placenta? If any of these questions bugs your mind, you should stick around to get the full gist.

There are certain things that when we hear people eat them, it comes as a surprise. For example; people from a region of the south – southern part of Nigeria are seen as dog eaters, those from the middle belt are labeled as rat eaters. Some people from Akwa Ibom even say they eat snakes, grasshoppers, termites, and weevils.

In this country, little things form a basis for profound acts of hate and discrimination against each other, which sometimes out rightly leads to fighting or generational stereotypes and labels.

However, are you hearing this for the first time? Chances are it sounds weird. Why eating placenta persist without much promotion? Eating of the placenta is not a new practice.

I got gist for you, well, aside from the already mentioned reasons; people who eat their placenta also say it can level off your hormones, lowering your chances of postpartum depression and insomnia [1].

But before we get into this cooking and eating of placenta gist, let’s take a close examination at what a placenta contains that people would want to eat.


The placenta has been described as a pancake-shaped organ that attaches to the inside of the uterus and is connected to the fetus by the umbilical cord. Small blood vessels carrying the fetal blood run through the placenta, which is full of maternal blood [2]

Eating of placenta

The placenta is like a lifeline that’s attached to a woman’s body, it’s a temporary organ that performs certain critical functions during the pregnancy period which include: providing needed nutrients and oxygen to support the growth and development of a growing baby.

Eating of placenta

Filters and remove waste and also produces pregnancy-related hormones, including human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), estrogen and progesterone. All these are necessary for the maintenance of pregnancy.

It also serves as a temporary store for certain nutrients like iron and quite a few hormones, about fifteen of them.


The practice of eating placenta, or “placentophagy,” is common in the animal kingdom. Don’t forget that man is an animal, even though we try to make it less insulting by using the term rational animal.

By rational, it should mean; any endeavor by man should be purposeful. It is believed that most non-human mammals with a placenta consume their “afterbirth”, as the placenta is otherwise known, as a way of eradicating the scent of their new-born and protecting them against predators [3].

To lower animals that might be reasonable, but to supposed rational animals? Not so much, eh? So whose idea was this?

 The way the media hype the news of celebrity moms making fries and smoothies out of the placenta or even encapsulating it, you’d think it had the capacity to provide longevity.

Yes, it does contain a significant amount of iron and hormones, but does that make it reasonable enough to make a big deal of placenta restaurants or pharmaceutical companies based on placenta encapsulation?.


I have not heard any stories of my grandmothers, who are now addressed as ancestors, eating of placentas. No record of mothers in human history ate their own placentas before the 1970s. ‘’Humans, historically, have not. But Chinese traditional medicine has for centuries used human placenta to treat kidney and liver ailments or low energy, though not in postpartum mothers’’ [4]

Of recent, it’s has become a popular practice by celebrities to eat of placenta. My question is ‘’how is this practice helping to make the world a better place?’’

Eating of placenta is widely practiced by women in industrialized countries such as the US, Australia, and the EU. As a matter of fact; a 2013 survey by Selander JCantor AYoung SM, and Benyshek DC, showed that; 189 women, who were mostly white, married and educated, ate their placentas [5].


It turns out the beauty industries of the 90s actually placed a premium on placenta, According to Jen Gunter, when asking the labour room nurses about what happens to placenta after birth at the hospital ‘’we were told the placenta was the secret ingredient in many creams meant to fight wrinkles and other age-related maladies afflicting women.

As a nurse working in a hospital, I’ve seen how people take the placenta a little too seriously; despite the fact eating of placenta is not promoted. At the hospital, the placenta constitutes a medical waste. However, disposing of placenta without consent would raise serious suspicions.

In fact, it has become a routine practice to seek consent before disposing of a placenta, most times the woman, husband or relative is allowed to take the placenta home for proper disposal or disposed at the hospital properly.

I have heard countless stories of disappearing placentas; people need it for diabolic reasons too.

The most recent is a story by Rev John Okene published in the Guardian magazine of a Nurse who was caught selling a placenta to a witch doctor for Eighty thousand naira [7].

The practice of eating of placenta has however flourished despite the lack of scientific evidence to support its medical or metaphysical benefits.

One of the women interviewed by Newsweek in 2015 said she only eats her placenta to prove that she’s part of the women in the twenty-first century who don’t fear their bodies.

The most popular way of eating placenta is by encapsulation. There is a handful of placenta encapsulation practitioners in the US and South Korea; there is also a directory for placenta encapsulation [6]. Just in case you want to join this group in expressing your views.


According to some scientists, the eating of placenta is done to ensure predators are not alerted to the presence of a vulnerable newborn. While that sense of insecurity might be reasonable and acceptable as it relates to lower animals, can the same be said of rational animals also known as humans? Well, no! Is my answer, except there are supernatural reasons beyond the physical the idea is absolutely not necessary.

Others argue the placenta contains useful nutrients and hormones beneficial for a new mother. This idea is also favored by advocates of human placentophagy [8] yet evidence has shown the placenta do not contain any special nutrient in a notable amount to be considered a staple food, or hormones that cannot be gotten from other less weird options.

True, the placenta contains about 17 hormones, but only three of those are of a significant amount to be of any physiologic benefit. oestradiol or progesterone can actually suppress milk production. That’s probably useful if the woman isn’t going to breastfeed.


A functional placenta filters toxins from the mother’s blood, even though it’s not been established if the toxin levels are high enough to make the eating of placenta harmful. Substances like lead, arsenic or mercury might be present in a negligible amount.

Another concern is that placenta capsules may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. According to Bryony McNeill, a child was diagnosed with potentially fatal condition sepsis, caused by the B streptococcus agalactiae group of bacteria [8] that was traced to the mother.


Eating of placenta

Typically, the placenta is processed into capsules, but some women have been known to actually cook and consume their placenta. “After all, the placenta is genetically part of the new-born, eating of placenta borders on cannibalism.” Dr. Farr added that “presumed nutrients” like iron, selenium, and zinc are not present in particularly high concentrations [9]


Whether popping their placenta in pill form or blending it in a breakfast drink, here are some famous moms celebs who ate their placenta and loved it [11].

  1. Hilary Duff
  2. Katherine Heigl
  3. Kourtney Kardashian
  4. Kim Kardashian
  5. January Jones
  6. Temera Mowry
  7. Gaby Huffmann
  8. Allicia Silverstone
  9. Mayim Bialik
  10. Holly Madison
  11. Kailyn Lowry
  12. Blac Chyna

Just to mention a few.


‘Don’t eat the placenta,’ Dr. Amos Grünebaum warns new parents. Encapsulated placentas are not regulated, and although eating placentas has become popular among celebrities, the practice has risks and little benefit.

Fathers obviously do not carry babies in their womb, do not have a placenta, and are less likely to eat another person’s placenta.  The risk of getting an infection from eating of placenta that’s not well cooked is there, let’s not even talk about blending raw and consuming as a smoothie.

Mostly, chunks of this placenta are freeze-dried and encapsulated, this does not make the placenta hygienic enough to be eaten, and there is the presence of cadmium which is a heavy metal that builds up in the placenta. The heavy metal can cause headaches in women who take encapsulated placenta.

Dr. Amos Grunebaum retorted that proponent of placentophagy are off to make money, as encapsulated placenta cost $200 – $400 [13].


Without much publicity, eating of placenta has received quite a level of acceptance, especially with celebrity moms supporting the idea. Recently consumption of placenta has become a new trend with an insubstantial claim that eating of placenta can help with postpartum depression, improve lactation and increase energy.


The popular way to consume the placenta includes eating the placenta raw in smoothies, others dry out the placenta or cooked in lasagne, or freeze-dried and placed in digestible capsules [14].

However, if you have any plans to eat your placenta for whatever reason? You might want to consult with your doctor first before concluding.

While the digestible capsules may cost up to 400 bucks, you can choose the low budget and good old method of preparing a steak.


Placenta Smoothie


1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
½ cup plain organic whole-milk yogurt
1 cup frozen strawberries


Note: Feel free to substitute in your favorite smoothie ingredients.

1. Put on gloves if you’d like to use them. 

2. Place your placenta on a tray, remove a piece of it to use in this recipe. Using your scissors, take out a half dollar-sized chunk from one particular spot, or you can remove several smaller pieces from different spots, such as the maternal side, the fetal side, the cord insertion point, etc.

3. Place placenta pieces, along with half of the orange juice, into your blender.

4. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add remaining orange juice, yogurt, and strawberries

6. Blend on high until well incorporated.

7. Serve in a gorgeous glass with a colorful bendy straw [14]

Placenta Lasagna


1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
½ lb placenta
1 lb ground beef
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp dried oregano, basil, and thyme
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ cup red wine
½ cup broth
¼ cup broth
½ cup whole milk [14]


1. Sauté onions and garlic in butter over medium heat for 8 minutes.

2. Chop placenta into small pieces using either a very sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors. 

3. Add placenta pieces and ground beef to the pan with the onion and garlic, and cook until beef is no longer pink. 

4. Add tomatoes, dried spices, salt, pepper, and wine, simmer 15 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half. 

5. In a 9″x13″ pan, pour the 1/4 cup of the broth, and then cover with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top noodles with half of the meat/tomato mixture and half of the ricotta cheese. Add another layer of noodles. Top noodles with remaining meat/tomato mixture and ricotta cheese. Add another layer of noodles. 

5. Drizzle half cup of the broth over noodles, making sure to spread as evenly as you can. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Drizzle the milk on top of the cheese. 

6. Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown [14].

Placenta Chili


1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
½ lb ground beef
½ lb placenta
1 Tbsp each of dried cumin, dried oregano, dried turmeric, dried basil, chili powder, and salt,
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 large tomatoes, diced
16 ounces (0.47 l) cooked kidney beans  [14]


1. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in butter over medium heat for 10 minutes. 

2. Cut the placenta into small pieces using either a very sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Add placenta pieces and ground beef to pot with the onion and garlic. Cook until ground beef is brown. Add spices, and mix well.

3. Add red wine vinegar, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add beans, and cook just long enough to heat the beans through.

4. Serve in bowls garnished with sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions [14].

Placenta Truffles


½ cup unrefined organic coconut oil
¾ cup organic coconut butter
5-6 Tbsp raw cacao powder
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
Sea salt to taste


Note: This recipe is based on the amount of placenta powder from an entire placenta. If you are only using part of your placenta for truffles, then adjust the ingredients accordingly.

1. Grind your placenta in a coffee grinder until it is very fine—you may need to do it in several batches. (If you already ground your placenta, then you can skip this step.)

2. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, and strain your placenta powder into the bowl. The strainer will catch the bigger bits of the placenta that would be unpleasant to have in your truffles. Toss the bigger bits, or pop them into capsules and consume them that way.

3. Set up a double boiler on the stove, and begin melting the coconut oil and coconut butter in it.

5. Add placenta powder, and mix until incorporated.

6. Add the cacao powder, maple syrup, and sea salt. Mix until incorporated. Continue adding maple syrup and salt to taste.

7. Set up candy molds on a tray.

8. Pour 1 Tbsp of truffle mix into each mold.

9. Place tray of truffles in the freezer until set, about 15 minutes. Store finished truffles in a container in the fridge or freezer.



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