I can do what with my placenta?


Oh, the placenta. Of course you know its functions during pregnancy: supplying the fetus with maternal nutrients and disposing of waste. But you might be surprised to learn what some people are doing with the placenta after delivery!

  • Using placenta extracts for facials is all the rage in some cities (including Hollywood). The claim is that they help rebuild cells, accelerate tissue regeneration, and do even more miraculous feats by replacing the vital nutrients that are lost during childbirth.
  • In a number of cultures, the placenta is buried after birth. Instead of just burying it, planting it along with a tree allows parents to celebrate the growth of their child while they watch growth of the tree. Added bonus: The nutrients from the placenta apparently help feed the soil!
  • At least one culture (the Tolong of the Philippines) traditionally puts the placenta in a clay pot and then smokes it. (It’s a placenta peace pipe!) Afterwards, they bury the ashes.
  • I’ll have the placenta, please…medium rare. A number of studies show that eating the placenta has benefits, including warding off postpartum depression and amping up milk production. If placenta lasagna doesn’t sound appetizing (even we felt a bit woozy after reading that recipe), dry it, grind it, and put it into capsules. Bon appétit!

—By Hilary Zalon and Laurie Grossman

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