Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin which stimulates involution of the uterus, in effect cleaning the uterus out. The placenta also contains small amounts of oxytocin which eases birth stress and relaxes the mammal to stimulate and improve milk production.
There is also a school of thought that holds that placentophagy naturally occurred to hide any trace of childbirth from predators in the wild.
In a few cultures it is customary for the mother to eat the placenta after their newborn's birth. Those who advocate placentophagy in humans believe that eating the placenta prevents postpartum depression and other pregnancy complications. Human placenta tastes very similar to beef, with a springy texture similar to the heart. A variety of recipes are known to exist for preparing placenta for eating.
Human placenta has also been an ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicines.
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