Benefits as reported by my clients:
- Reported At Least One Benefit 99.6% 99.6%
- Increased Energy 80% 80%
- Better Mood 68% 68%
- Quicker Healing 62% 62%
- Increased Milk Supply 58% 58%
- Feeling More Balanced 70% 70%
- Less Times of Weepiness 64% 64%
- Decreased Feelings of Sadness 74% 74%
- Reduced Anxiety 38% 38%
- Would Reccomend Red Tree Placenta to Others Interested in Encapsulation 100% 100%
But it’s not just my clients! Multiple studies have surveyed placenta consumers on their experiences. The majority report positive benefits and say they would do it again!
Maternal placentophagy, although widespread among mammals, is conspicuously absent among humans cross-culturally. Recently, however, advocates for the practice have claimed it provides human postpartum benefits. Despite increasing awareness about placentophagy, no systematic research has investigated the motivations or perceived effects of practitioners. We surveyed 189 females who had ingested their placenta and found the majority of these women reported perceived positive benefits and indicated they would engage in placentophagy again after subsequent births. Further research is necessary to determine if the described benefits extend beyond those of placebo effects, or are skewed by the nature of the studied sample.
Selander J, Cantor A, Young SM, Benyshek DC. Human maternal placentophagy: a survey of self-reported motivations and experiences associated with placenta consumption. Ecol Food Nutr. 2013;52(2):93-115. doi:10.1080/03670244.2012.719356
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Kathryn did a great job. Answered all my questions. This was my fourth girl and I had postpartum [depression] with all the others. My first time trying this, and I’m so glad I did. No postpartum [depression] this time! I had a few off days, but overall way better! Thank You! Try it…why not, all natural and it comes from your body. What stands out most about my experience was that it was not gross!!!
While there is not a whole lot of studies on placenta remedies, there are some, and more are being done!
CRH AND POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
It is hypothesized that the abrupt withdrawal of placenta hormones, especially CRH in the early postpartum can help explain the occurrence of postpartum depression disorders.
The third trimester of human pregnancy is characterized by a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, possibly driven by progressively increasing circulating levels of placental CRH and gradually decreasing levels of CRH-binding protein. The postpartum period, on the other hand, is characterized by an increased vulnerability to psychiatric manifestations (postpartum “blues,” depression, and psychosis), a phenomenon compatible with suppressed hypothalamic CRH secretion. To investigate the hypothesis that the postpartum period is associated with suppression of hypothalamic CRH secretion, we studied prospectively 17 healthy euthymic women (mean +/- SE age, 32.0 +/- 1.1 yr) with no prior history of depression, starting at the 20th week of gestation. Psychometric testing was performed monthly during pregnancy and postpartum on day 2 and weeks 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20, whereas serial ovine (o) CRH tests were performed postpartum at 3, 6, and 12 weeks. While pregnant, all 17 subjects remained euthymic; in the postpartum period, 7 women developed the “blues,” and 1 developed depression. Overall, the mean plasma ACTH response to an iv bolus of 1 microgram/kg oCRH was markedly blunted at 3 and 6 weeks, but normal at 12 weeks postpartum, whereas the mean plasma cortisol response was at the upper limit of normal at all 3 times. These data are compatible with a suppressed hypothalamic CRH neuron that gradually returns to normal while hypertropic adrenal cortexes are progressively down-sizing. When the postpartum ACTH responses to oCRH were analyzed separately for the euthymic women and the women who had the “blues” or depression, the blunting of ACTH was significantly more severe and long lasting in the latter group; this was observed at all 3 times of testing. We conclude that there is central suppression of hypothalamic CRH secretion in the postpartum, which might explain the increased vulnerability to the affective disorders observed during this period. The suppressed ACTH response to oCRH might serve as a biochemical marker of the postpartum “blues” or depression.
Magiakou MA, Mastorakos G, Rabin D, Dubbert B, Gold PW, Chrousos GP. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone suppression during the postpartum period: implications for the increase in psychiatric manifestations at this time. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996;81(5):1912-1917. doi:10.1210/jcem.81.5.8626857
What is CRH? – Coriotropin Releasing Hormone – a 41-amino acid neuropeptide is central in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It is an essential neuro hormone for stress adaption. The placenta secretes a similar hormone that is called placental CRH (pCRH). This “stress adaption hormone” pCRH is produced exponentially during pregnancy.
Placenta contains CRH and other hormones! This study did also find that the hormone concentrations are reduced after processing.
Following mean hormone concentrations were detected in raw placental tissue: CRH (177.88 ng/g), hPL (17.99 mg/g), oxytocin (85.10 pg/g), ACTH (2.07 ng/g), estrogen equivalent active substances (46.95 ng/g) and gestagen equivalent active substances (2.12 μg/g).
Johnson SK, Groten T, Pastuschek J, Rödel J, Sammer U, Markert UR. Human placentophagy: Effects of dehydration and steaming on hormones, metals and bacteria in placental tissue. Placenta. 2018;67:8-14. doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2018.05.006
IRON, FATIGUE AND POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
This is a study showing a direct link between low iron levels after birth and risk of postpartum depression.
The role of maternal anemia in the development of postpartum depression (PPD) is unclear. PPD is a serious disorder that may negatively affect the physical and emotional health of a new mother and her infant. Although psychosocial factors that increase the risk of developing PPD are known, few studies have identified physiologic factors that predispose a woman to PPD. New mothers were visited at home on d 7, 14 and 28 after an uncomplicated labor and delivery. Hemoglobin (Hb) concentration was measured via finger-prick blood at each visit, and the women completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depressive Symptomatology Scale (CES-D) on d 28. There was a negative correlation between Hb concentration on d 7 postpartum and depressive symptoms on d 28 (r = -4.26; P = 0.009). CES-D scores (means +/- SEM) on d 7 of women with normal Hb levels > 120 g/L (12 g/dL) were significantly lower (6.90 +/- 1.04) than those of women with Hb levels < or = 120 g/L (12 g/dL) [16.36 +/- 3.34; t(35) = -3.632, P = 0.001]. Thus, women suffering early postpartum anemia may be at increased risk of developing PPD.
Corwin EJ, Murray-Kolb LE, Beard JL. J Nutr. 2003 Dec;133(12):4139-42.
This study shows fatigue as another risk factor. While the the recovery from labor and the work of caring for a newborn are reasons for fatigue, low iron levels can lead to fatigue as well.
Significant correlations were obtained between PPF(Postpartum Fatigue) and symptoms of PPD(Postpartum Depression) on Days 7, 14, and 28, with Day 14 PPF levels predicting future development of PPD symptoms in 10 of 11 women. Perceived stress, but not cortisol, was also correlated with symptoms of PPD on Days 7, 14, and 28. Women with a history of depression had elevated depression scores compared to women without, but no variable was as effective at predicting PPD as PPF.
Corwin EJ, Brownstead J, Barton N, Heckard S, Morin K. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2005 Sep-Oct;34(5):577-86.
Placenta is high in iron!
Average iron concentrations were considerably higher in encapsulated placenta (0.664 mg/g) compared to the encapsulated beef placebo (0.093 mg/g)
Gryder LK, Young SM, Zava D, Norris W, Cross CL, Benyshek DC. Effects of Human Maternal Placentophagy on Maternal Postpartum Iron Status: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2017;62(1):68-79. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12549
EFFECTS ON MILK PRODUCTION
There are a few studies that were done in which the effects on milk production were looked at after being given placenta.
It has been shown that the feeding of desiccated placenta to women during the first eleven days after parturition causes an increase in the protein and lactose percent of the milk… All the mothers were receiving the same diet, and to the second set 0.6mg of desiccated placenta was fed three times a day throughout the period. Certain definite differences in the progress of growth of the two sets of infants are to be observed. It is evident that the recovery from the postnatal decline in weight is hastened by the consumption of milk produced under the influence of maternally ingested placenta.
McNeile, Lyle G. 1918. The American journal of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, 77. W.A. Townsend & Adams, original press: University of Michigan.
All patients were given desiccated placenta prepared as previously described (C.A. II, 2492) in doses of 10 grains in a capsule 3 times a day. Only those mothers were chosen for the study whose parturition was normal and only the weights of those infants were recorded whose soul source of nourishment was mothers milk. The growth of 177 infants was studied. The rate of growth is increased by the ingestion of placenta by the mother… the maternal ingestion of dried placenta tissue so stimulates the tissues of the infants feeding on the milk produced during this time, that unit weight is able to add on greater increments of matter, from day to day, than can unit weight of infants feeding on milk from mothers not ingesting this substance.” Hammett, Frederick. S. 1918. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 36. American Society of Biological Chemists, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, original press: Harvard University.
Powdered Placenta Hominis was used for 57 cases of insufficient lactation. Within 4 days, 48 women had markedly increased milk production, with the remainder following suit over the next three days.
Bensky/Gamble. 1997. Materia Medica, Eastland Press, 549.
AREAS I SERVE
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Mt. diablo region, including the East Bay, Lamorinda, Tri-Vally and Delta Valley. Cities include Tracy, Stockton, Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda, Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Richmond, and Pinole.
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HOSPITALS I SERVE
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Alameda County Medical Center - Highlands, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, Dameron Hospital, John Muir Medical Center – Walnut Creek, Kaiser – Antioch, Kaiser – Oakland, Kaiser – Walnut Creek, Saint Joseph’s of Stockton, San Joaquin General Hospital, San Ramon Regional Medical Center, Sutter Delta Medical Center, Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, and Valleycare Medical Center.
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