This first post is the basic placenta dehydration. We will get into Traditional
Chinese Medicine, Raw, and other including herbs and mediums later.
Important! Please read: Take proper handling precautions and sterilizing steps to be in congruence with all OSHA and EPA standards in your area for food safety and blood-borne pathogen control. If you are a birth professional and plan to use your own equipment or work with the placenta out of the placenta owner’s home you may be required by law to have a food handlers permit. The information on this page has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information offered by Maternally Wise is not clinical, pharmaceutical, or intended to diagnose or treat any condition. People who choose to utilize the information on this page take full responsibility of their own health and for researching and using the remedies.
Here are some links where you will be able to learn about the guidelines and requirements in your area within the United States and Red Cross info:
Above the labels are too small to make out so I have listed the items here: Cutting board, basin, blender, sharp cutlery including food scissors, baking sheets, heavy watercolor paper, gloves (latex free), cotton, non stick pan liner, plastic wrap, coffee grinder, capsules size “0” vegetarian and Kosher, Cap-M-Quick capsule fillers, jars for pills, placenta literature and labels for jars. I will adjust this in the near future.
Gloves will be essential in protecting yourself and the integrity of the placenta. Keep them handy as you will probably be switching them out frequently for new ones. You can use food handling gloves or the sterile exam gloves, as long as they are somewhat tight-fitting. The encapsulation process is tedious and the less glove in the way the better.
The placenta will be given to you in some form of sealed container. Home birth clients may have theirs in two zip lock bags. The placenta can sit three to four hours after birth without refrigeration, 3-4 days in the refrigerator and up to three months in a freezer. If the placenta was frozen it needs to be thawed before you start. Slow thawing is best (24 hours in fridge). Be sure to remove and destroy and labels with clients name and or personal information.
Place your tub or basin in the sink and examine the placenta. Each one is different and you can tell a lot about mom’s diet and health by the placenta and the amniotic sac. (notice the blood filled bubble at bottom left of this one) This is a variable of normal and some are filled with only air. You are viewing the fetal side of the placenta in this picture. Try and look for any chunks missing on the maternal side. This is a good sign that the placenta was actively managed (pulled out) or detached incompletely. Some placentas have extra lobes in addition to the general three which give it the heart shape.
Okay, here I am removing the Amnion (the outer layer of the amniotic sac). The Chorion (the inner layer) will stay attached to the fetal side and this is fine. Neatly trim off both layers hanging off around the outer edge.
Before I trim the cord off I make a print. I pat the placenta so that it is not dripping. I placed it maternal side down on the heavy watercolor paper in this picture to the left but the fetal side also looks amazing. The cord can be made into all kinds of designs, tree trunk with roots, heart etc. Let your creative imagination explore! I like to make the prints look like a tree but I have seen other cool ideas too.
Next, I will cut the cord at the base. If you want to you can bleed some of the trapped blood from the vessels that led to the cord. From this point you would either slice the placenta into thin strips or you may put the whole trimmed placenta in the blender, pulse a few times, and blend it on low. It will look like a bunch of tomato paste. Pour or place (if sliced) the placenta onto a baking sheet or dehydration tray. If blended, use a silicone spatula to get out as much placenta left behind in the blender as possible and smooth out the placenta paste as evenly as possible for consistent dehydration. If sliced, do not over crowd the placenta. I always ask my clients how they want their placenta processed. Some are sensitive to the magnetic field that is created in the blender and how that affects the placenta on a cellular level. If your client is sensitive to this you will also want to use a motor and pestle for grinding the placenta into powder as well.
Set your dehydrator at about 150 degrees or (below 118 degrees for “Raw”) For ovens, use the highest warm setting if the oven wont let you set the exact temperature.
The placenta in the picture to the left has been processed with a blender. As you can see I shaped the cord into a heart. Dehydrate for about 8 hours then check for hardness. If it feels buoyant or squishy it is not ready. It usually takes 10 –14 hours depending on how thick the cut or spread is and the oven/dehydrator.
When it is done the color changes to a very dark, blackish red and the cord becomes thin and stiff, like rawhide. Speaking of rawhide, keep your finished products away from pets. It is not fun explaining to your client how the kitty cat enjoyed their kids umbilical cord… trust me. Store them well.
Now we are ready to turn the dehydrated placenta into powder!
Break the placenta up into small pieces. It should break apart easily, like snapping a chip in half. If you made slices, break those down too. For this demonstration I am using a coffee grinder. You can also use a blender if you do not have a grinder. Next, I place the placenta into the grinder being mindful not to over load it. Grind until you don’t hear any more crunching and the placenta has taken a powder form.
This is what your finished powder will look like.
If you do not have a capsule filler tray you may fill each capsule one at a time by hand.
Then, place the powder over the filler machine and spread around with a card until all holes are filled. You can use a tamper to pack more powder in. I like to do this because I will get about 150 capsules every time.
Once you have filled your capsules, place the caps on. Make sure they are all the way on or they may open in the jar.
Empty the capsules into your jar, set some cotton or freshness packet and.. voila! You have a finished product
I like to use the cord as part of the presentation for the print and most of my clients just love it. The cord can be made into so many designs like spirals, stars, circles, the first letter of baby’s name. Also, this heart is big but you could make multiple small designs too.
Well, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this blog and please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
Thank for looking and keep coming back for “how to’s” on steaming placentas, TMC,homeopathic tinctures and other fun placenta remedies.