Placenta was first mentioned as a Chinese herb in a Materia Medica in 741 AD. So, why would anyone want to consume their placenta? In Chinese medical theory, the process of bearing and birthing a child is very exhausting on the mother's Qi and Blood supplies. She literally gives of herself to form this new life. After birth, a mother is very deficient and will often experience symptoms such as extreme fatigue, insufficient milk-production, depression, insomnia, anemia, headaches and many more. It has been found that if a mother consumes the placenta following birth, her Qi and Blood levels will be greatly improved, improving any post-partum symptoms she may be experiencing. How many cases of post-partum depression could be avoided? How many babies could more easily be successfully breast-fed?
Some people are willing to eat their placenta raw (which is optimal). Some people are willing to eat it cooked as the meat in a recipe (do a Google search and you'll find TONS of recipes!). Now, I know what you may be thinking, "I'm not a cat/dog/cow/animal, there's no WAY you're going to get me to eat that!" For those of us who aren't likely contestants for Fear Factor, there are other options for ingesting placenta and boosting our Qi and Blood following the birth of our child that may be a little easier to stomach.
There are companies who will send you the materials to dry, grind and encapsulate your placenta so it's no different than taking your daily prenatal vitamin! One such company is PlacentaBenefits.info. They will also complete the encapsulization process for you if you're not interested in the laborious process after you've already labored enough, thank you very much!
For those of you who still can't stomach the thought of eating your own placenta, speak with your Chinese herbalist. The placentae used in herbal formulas today come from pigs and cows, which may be a bit more do-able for you!