Placentophagy and Chinese Medicine

By Sabine Wilms

Chinese medicine practitioners involved in reproductive care often find themselves affected by a fairly recent but rapidly growing trend to encapsulate the woman’s placenta, sometimes with the addition of “traditional” Chinese herbs, and have the woman ingest these after delivery, presumably to treat postpartum exhaustion and depression and improve lactation. This issue comes up frequently when I lecture on postpartum care in classical Chinese medicine.

 Henry Vandyke Carter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Henry Vandyke Carter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons