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May 05, 2015

The practice of eating the placenta post-baby

The controversal practice is said to increase energy levels and ward off postpartum depression, according to advocates

Women have been known to go to the great extremes for health and beauty, from strutting around in six-inch stilettos to ripping off unwanted hair with hot wax and bathing in crocodile dung.

A similar, though slightly more controversial health regimen that dates back to ancient times and is still practiced today -- including by a slew of celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian and Alicia Silverstone -- is the practice of mothers eating their placenta after childbirth.

Placenta Pills
(Kourtney Kardashian/AP)

It is important to note that there are not enough scientific studies to support the benefits of eating one's placenta, and there may be risks associated with the practice though advocates claim eating the body organ results in many benefits, including increased energy, increased breast milk production and balanced hormones post-baby.

There are different ways to prepare the placenta for consumption, which is called placentophagy, the most common being drying it, then turning it into a powder and encapsulating it, as Kourtney Kardashian has done, shown above. There are certified experts who will complete the preparation process for you for a fee.

Another option is cooking the placenta in a recipe as a meat substitute or eating it raw, which is thought to help maintain the nutrients, which may be lost in the cooking or dehydrating process. 

Read more on the practice at Mind Body Green.

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