Would you ever eat your own placenta?

Laura isn't so sure she can overcome the "ick" factor. Could you?

By Laura Grande
Would you ever eat your own placenta?

Photo by EdStock/

We've talked about it. We've tweeted about it. We've even blogged about it. So, it goes without saying that this whole placenta-eating debate has been a hot topic here at Today's Parent.

Earlier today the Toronto Metro ran a feature on Mad Men actress January Jones and how she recently admitted to eating her own placenta as a daily vitamin. The article contained an interesting sidebar on on the pros and cons of taking placenta orally or using it for facials. My initial reaction was "yuck"; however, if nothing else, I can appreciate how much it makes for one great debate — and the discussion will likely continue unabated for a long while yet.

One thing that really stood out for me was that, despite the fact that this practice has been around for generations all over the world, as it stands right now the medical world is still uncertain as to whether or not there are any actual health benefits. While Jones claims that eating her placenta (after it's cooked, dehydrated and turned into pill form) helped "get her camera ready" a few weeks after giving birth to her son, the verdict is still out.

So, why do it? While most (myself included) would likely readily take placenta tablets if it guaranteed a noticeable impact on our overall health, I'm not sure I can overcome the "ick" factor if it's not actually a necessity of life.

What are the pros and cons, then, according to Metro's sources?

  • It claims that there are no side effects that you need to worry about after ingesting a placenta vitamin — yet while some women believe it rejuvinated them in the weeks after giving birth there's still that whole uncertainty-in-the-medical-world cloud hanging overhead.
  • There are also some who believe that it can be used in facials as a means to combat skin conditions such as eczema — which is just fine and dandy if you are able to move past the fact that the placenta used in facials come from sheep.
  • And, finally, placenta can come in hair capsule form which is supposedly packed with protein to repair damanged hair — but remember the sheep? There's that whole issue of rubbing sheep, pig and/or ox placenta into your hair.

So, while I'm not entirely sold on the idea, I find both sides of the coin to be fascinating.

What about you: Have your ever eaten your placenta? If so, what benefits did you notice? If not, would you be willing to try it?

This article was originally published on Apr 16, 2012

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