Some people eat it, some people make pills from it, some bury it and plant a tree over the top, while others throw it in the bin. What many don’t know is that you can also make a homeopathic remedy out of placenta and have it as a little constitutional back up for the rest of you and your babe’s life.
What is the essence of placenta?
I invite you to take a little journey now, back to being in the womb, back into that soft, dark, warm watery land where you are held gently, safely protected, where the sounds of the outer world are muffled and come more as feelings through the watery realm you float in.
Here you are a curled up fetus, safe, together with your placenta close beside you like a cosy blanket. Here you are a unity, all is one, everything is provided to you through this magical placenta. There is no sense of separation or need. It is like the Garden of Eden where all is provided. The placenta is the source of all your needs and everything is unified and perfect, nothing is wanting.
Then you are born.
Suddenly the placenta is quite often cut off when the umbilical cord is clamped and severed. This is a natural and necessary progression in becoming part of this world, although sometimes done more hastily than the soul is quite ready for.
The separation of you from your placenta is like the banishment from Eden. Suddenly all is not automatically provided and you become aware of needs, of hunger and discomfort. Suddenly there is a duality. You are no longer one with the mother, with the placenta, now you must find ways to get your needs met by relating, by interacting.
This disconnection from source forces us on a journey, the long journey of life, the journey to come back to ourselves, to find oneness within again.
How was your experience of separating from your placenta?
Maybe it was fast and early so that all of your blood supply didn’t even get returned to you, but instead drained wastefully away or collected for research or storage. (Early cord clamping is still practiced in many places – mothers, get informed about this before your birth and make sure you note in your birth plan your choices around this, see references below).
Maybe it was more delayed and natural – in which there was patient waiting for the cord to stop pulsing fully, giving you time to reabsorb the last of your blood from the placenta – this process can take up to ten minutes as blood shunts back and forth. Or maybe you had a lotus birth, where the cord was allowed to dry and fall off in its own time cycle.
One third of the blood supply can be lost with early clamping of the umbilical cord. This is part of our life force, our vitality that is lost from us. While the physical detriments of this practice are well known (see references), what about the more ethereal?
The experience we have of this separation of our placenta and our response to it can set up lifetime pathways. Neural pathways are getting formed in the early days, so every experience we have then creates an imprint that will effect us for the rest of our lives (for more information on limbic imprinting and epigenetics, see links below).
The Trauma of Separation
While single traumas can be easily healed with good emotional support and presence, repeated traumas can create lifelong effects on our mental health. I wonder if a placenta separation that is experienced as rough, sudden and traumatic, or too early, when we are not quite ready for this shift may leave us searching the rest of our lives for our beloved placenta. Just like having a meal taken away from us before we feel satiated, being cut off before we feel ready can leave a feeling of emptiness, of incompleteness and separation.
In doing my own journey with this I had the song come into my head “desperate to connect”. I saw toddlers with their comfort ‘blanky’ or their beloved toy that they have to take everywhere with them – this comfort thing as a manifestation of attempting to replace the placenta, the lost twin.
And later in life it may be the desperate search for a ‘soulmate’ or partner, something that will bring ‘wholeness’ again. Or maybe it is seen in the difficulty to let go of things – material objects, relationships, a compensation for having had things taken away before we were ready in our first few moments of life. I’m sure there are many other manifestations of this sense of loss too.
The differences may be so subtle and most of us may be somewhere in between, but lets make it polar to get clear.
First, lets look at what is known as a lotus birth. This is letting the placenta and cord come off in their own time, where the cord dries up and falls off on its own. Here, I imagine the experience may be one of knowing there is no longer a need for the placenta and so letting it fall away, it has ceased to be useful and the source of nurturing.
There is a healthy letting go of what is no longer needed. Here there is a feeling of unity, of wholeness, there is no sense of lack or separation induced in the first few minutes of life, so no neural pathway of stress and loss are set up.
Maybe there is a sense of wholeness, of trust, knowing that all needs will always be met (as they always have been). It is a calm relaxed baby who attracts all it needs by being cute and endearing and invoking this in those who interact with it.
Of course this may change with experience, and at some point, like every being it will experience trauma and challenge. And challenge is a chance to grow and live. However, the later this experience of challenge and trauma, the more chance that healthy neural pathways of support and connection have been built and there will be more strength to deal with them.
Early Cord Clamping
On the other hand is the experience of feeling cut off from the placenta, the source of all our needs before we feel ready (as may happen with early cord clamping). Whatever the reason for this early loss of part of our vital force and blood – whether it be plain ignorance, research purposes, or even the paradoxical collecting of stem cells just in case you need them later in life (aren’t you more likely to need them later in life if you have them taken from you at birth?) the experience may be one of separation, disconnection and emptiness.
There is not the same sense of wholeness (there can be no sense of need if there is no sense of separation or division). Here the experience is one of lack, of need, of not having our needs met all the time, and so we are coming always from a place of emptiness, of trying to fill up a hole.
The differences on a soul level are subtle but incredibly profound and formative to our experience and interaction with life. Are we always coming from a place of lack, trying to fill up a hole? Or are we coming from a place of wholeness? In both cases our needs are the same, but the way we get them met is coming from a completely different place.
Homeopathics are potentised substances. Little of the original substance is left in most of the commonly used potencies (30c, 200c etc.). However because of the dilution and potentization process that is carried out, what is known in homeopathy as ‘the vital force’ (or in other modalities, the qi, chi, prana, life force etc.) is released from the substance. This makes it not only more potent, but also safer, especially in the case of toxic substances (remedies such as Aconite and Belladonna which are deadly poisons in material doses, are safe to use in homeopathic potency). For more information on how this process works you can enroll in our short Introduction to Homeopathy course.
Having a homeopathic dose of placenta is like getting to the essence of it. While substances can be useful nutritionally (i.e. placenta encapsulation), having a homeopathic dose of placenta will go deeper, treating not only the physical realm, but also the emotional, spiritual and soul levels of a being.
More information on how to use Placenta as a remedy below, but first….
How to use homeopathic Placenta?
The homeopathic proving of Placenta humanum can be read here. Summarized, it is a remedy to connect you back with source, back to a place of safety and protection when you are feeling separated and detached. It can bring you back to the original source/self and your original rhythm. It helps you feel at one again, connected to the nourishment of life, to being sustained, supported and provided for and to trust in life. It has:
- Ailments from feeling disconnected. Feeling isolated, separated, detached, like an outsider, feeling that don’t belong. Lack of focus, spaced out, desire to escape. Homesickness.
- Also useful for a placenta that is not growing properly during pregnancy.
The remedy Placenta humanum can be obtained from homeopaths or homeopathic pharmacies. But you can also make a remedy of your baby’s placenta (see below for details), which will have the same healing qualities but be slightly more specific to you and your babe.
Your own placenta remedy
You can use this as a constitutional remedy, giving a dose to your child whenever they become a bit run down and start to get sick. When they need a bit of help to come back to wholeness and health, to come back to source – that complete place of wholeness and nutrition that is our ultimate blueprint. (Health is not just the absence of disease, it is wholeness – having all parts of us working together in harmony – not just the body, but the spirit and soul also). A dose of their own placenta can help boost the immune system, help them feel safe and protected once again and give them the strength to grow through whatever challenge or transition is occurring.
As a mother, you can take a dose of your placenta for the above reasons. It can also be used when there is exhaustion from over caring for others. It can help when there are unhealthy attachments and overdependence. It can balance out relationships so that they are healthier, not based on codependency but on true relating, whether this is with your child, parents or partner. It helps cut unhealthy ties and bonds.
Making a remedy from your baby’s placenta.
After birth, you need to collect a small portion of the placenta – tune in to which part feels right for you. Tear it off and place it in some strong alcohol (brandy is a good choice). This will preserve it and serve as the base to make the remedy from. Use a dark colored, sterilized bottle. The ratio should be about 1 part placenta to 9 parts brandy. Once in this brandy solution, it can wait until you have time to complete the process.
Resources and links:
Hastie C, Fahy KM. (2009). Optimising psychophysiology in third stage of labour: Theory applied to practice, Women Birth.
Journal articles with evidence for delaying cord clamping.
Bond, S. (2007). Journal reviews: Late cord clamping improves anemia and iron stores in term infants up to 6 months, but practice remains controversial. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 52(5), 521-522.
Cernadas, J., Carroli, G., Pellegrini, L., Otano, L., Ferreira, M., & Ricci, C. (2006). The effect of timing of cord clamping on neonatal venous hematocrit values and clinical outcome at term: A randomized controlled trial. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 61, 564–565.
Eichenbaum-Pikser, G., & Zasloff, J.S. (2009). Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord: A review with implications for practice. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health 54(4), 321-326.
Van Rheenen, P., & Brabin, B.J. (2004). Late umbilical cord clamping as an intervention for reducing iron deficiency anaemia in term infants in developing and industrialised countries: A systematic review. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics 24 (3), 3-16.
Weckert, R., & Hancock, H. (2008). The importance of delayed cord clamping for Aboriginal babies: A life enhancing advantage. Women and Birth 21, 165-70.
Zaramella, P., Freato, F., Quaresima, V., Secchieri, S., Grisafi, D., & Chiandetti, L. (2008). Early versus late cord clamping: Effects on peripheral blood flow and cardiac function in term infants. Early Human Development 84, 195-200.
This article first appeared at the authors blog @WildFlowerWalker and is used with permission.
Heidi Wedd runs various circles and online courses in shamanic herbalism, herbal alchemy, plant spirit communication and flower codes. Author of ‘Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track’, she is passionate about reawakening and deepening our innate connection with Nature. Her history is deeply embedded with plants, herbalism, homeopathy and midwifery. www.wildflowerwalker.com