During early labor, a nurse asked if I wanted to keep my placenta. My first thought was “Why would I want the afterbirth?” My second thought was “If I bring it home, how are they going to give it to me? In a takeout container, like at a restaurant?” Sadly, the conversation didn’t get that far as I quickly declined their doggy bag.
Little did I know why my consent was needed. Some hospitals and private companies use donated placentas but they need your permission. The question is, how are they being used? These 10 uses for human placenta are too interesting not to share.
10 Face Masks
The cosmetics industry is worth billions. In an attempt to slow down the aging process, many women are turning to skin care products that contain the life-giving organ expelled after birth. Jennifer Lopez is a fan of the placenta collagen mask made by Plazan Cosmetics. This company claims the proteins and irons in their placenta-infused products stimulate skin regeneration and eliminate wrinkles. Though, if the wondrous properties of the placenta can remove fine lines, it makes you question why newborns are so wrinkled?
9 Luxury Shampoo
The human placenta may even be lurking in your shampoo. Although several hair shampoo brands use the vitamin-rich placentas of other animals such as sheep, cows, horses, and pigs, some produce shampoos and conditioners made with human afterbirth. Have you looked at the ingredients on your shampoo label? Chemical ingredient names of placentas may include hyaluronic acid, collagen-elastin complex, glucosaminoglycans, alkaline phosphatase, and placental extract.
Theoretically, placenta hair treatments repair hair follicles and decrease shedding while making tresses shine. You’ll need to be patient, though. With daily use, placenta shampoo needs six months of treatment to take effect.
8 Eye Surgery
Doctors at Toronto East General Hospital in Canada are healing damaged eyes with the help of the human placenta. After planned cesarean sections, the afterbirth is harvested to collect the amniotic membrane (or amnion) which is the inner layer of the placenta. Amnion can assist in ophthalmic surgeries, including the treatment of various eye wounds such as burns and infectious diseases.
Instead of eating your own afterbirth, you can ingest someone else’s in pill form. Laennec Products manufactures 100% human placenta extracts. The placentas are dehydrated, ground into a powder, and encapsulated. The company claims these pill capsules provide the same benefits as consuming as the “raw” tissue by restoring the immune and hormonal systems. Although, consumers should always be cautious of exaggerated claims.
6 Skin Lightening Soap
From expensive treatments to home remedies, people have tried to whiten their skin. GHC Brightening Soap claims to brighten your skin’s complexion with the help of human placenta extract. The facial soap is also supposed to moisturize and soften the skin. What they don’t mention is the high level of hormones contained in placental protein. Consult your doctor before using any new product.
Injectable drugs are widely available through retail outlets, spas, and online companies. Products that contain human placenta claim to treat everything from uneven skin tone to Parkinson’s disease. Although a number of these sites are popping up online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises caution when buying injectable products. Some of their ingredients have not been approved, and may cause serious harm.
4 Anti-Aging Skin Cream
Collagen is a substance found in connective tissue. Its use in high-end skin creams can be traced back to the 1940s. The youth-enhancing properties of collagen can promote skin cell growth. Sunny Q NYC claims their human placenta additives help regenerate skin cells and iron out wrinkles. Be warned, though. Products with human placenta can potentially cause health risks. If you are pregnant or nursing, check with your medical caregiver first.
3 Wound Healing
Researchers at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea discovered that human placental extract (HPE) had the power of healing skin wounds, such as burns, ulcers, and imperfections in the skin. Direct applications of placental extracts not only promoted wound healing but also accelerated the process.
2 Chronic Fatigue
In Korea, HPE has found various medical applications including treatment for chronic fatigue. A six-week study found that patients with chronic fatigue showed a decrease that was significantly more effective than the placebo effect.
1 Stem Cell Research
The placenta is a rich source of stem cells, the body’s master cells. By harvesting the stem cells of donated placentas, they can be used to treat a variety of human diseases and disorders, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson’s disease. The role of the human placenta in medical research continues.