THE DIFFERENT METHODS OF PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION: RAW, HEATED, AND TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
So what is the difference between the different types of encapsulation methods? I know you're all dying to know!
The primary difference between the three placenta encapsulation methods I offer is whether or not the placenta is steamed prior to dehydrating (raw vs. TCM and basic heated), and whether the placenta is steamed with herbs or by itself before dehydrating (TCM vs. basic heated).
Sidenote: it's super important to note that I say "TCM-inspired" - I am not a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, so to say I offer TCM would be like calling Donald Trump President.
You get the point though.
Raw Method: Apparently there is a misconception floating around that the raw method of encapsulation involves taking raw pieces of the placenta and stuffing it into the capsules. NO NO NO NO NO. Just no. Not only would this be a bacterial infection waiting to happen, but it would be completely inefficient to actually do. The correct method involves dehydrating the placenta and grinding it into a powder, but skipping the step of steaming or heating prior to dehydration. The benefit of not heating it beforehand is that it creates a much more nutrient dense capsule with a higher yield - which means you’ll get more bang for your buck.
The raw method looks like this:
- I remove the cord and amniotic sac. If you want a cord keepsake I will put this aside to work with later, otherwise it will be dehydrated along with the sac and placenta
- I gently run the placenta under cold running water and then cut it into thin strips
- The strips are then placed into my dehydrator, where they are dehydrated until they become brittle and can snap in half like a pretzel. If I think there is even still the tiniest bit of moisture in any of the strips they are dehydrated further
- The strips are then ground and placed into the capsules for your use
Traditional Chinese Medicine (inspired!) and Basic Heated Method: These two methods are similar in that, unlike with the raw method, they are steamed prior to dehydrating. The basic heated method is just what it sounds like - the placenta is steamed prior to dehydrating, which is ideal for women who suffer from anxiety or insomnia because it tones down some of the hormones that could otherwise exacerbate those symptoms - we definitely don't want that. The TCM-inspired method adds herbs to the steaming process (in this case, ginger for warmth and lemon for cleansing), and I've found it's the most popular method. Bonus, if you consult with a Doctor of Chinese Medicine (a real one), I’ll happily include other prescribed herbs that are tailored just for you.
The Basic Heated and TCM-inspired methods look like this:
- The cord and amniotic sac are removed. The cord is put aside if a keepsake is wanted, otherwise it is dehydrated along with the amniotic sac and placenta
- I gently run the placenta under cold running water
- I steam the placenta, either by itself (basic heated) or with ginger and lemon (TCM)
- Once the edges are curling upwards I remove the placenta from the heat and slice it into thin strips
- The strips are then dehydrated until they easily snap in half, ground, and placed into the capsules for your use
So there you have it. All of the above methods have their own benefits. If you’re unsure of which you’d prefer, think about what you would like to gain after birth, and then give me a call or text me to discuss. And if you’re still indecisive (like me) you can opt to have half of the capsules done one way, and the other half done another way, I’m totally cool with that!
More info about placenta encapsulation services offered in Toronto and Durham Region (Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, and beyond) can be found here.