Placentophagy, the practice of ingesting your placenta after giving birth, is certainly not standard practice, but some are staunch believers.
They believe eating the placenta, either in capsulated or cooked form, can balance out hormonal fluctuations that play a role in postpartum depression.
Many refer to the fact that most mammals consume their placentas after giving birth as proof that the practice is normal and natural. It has also been a part of Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
Jodi Selander of Las Vegas, who offers a free encapsulation service, says, "We are the only mammal on Earth that went away from this practice."
But the practice is met with great skepticism by more traditional medical experts, and it has been brought to the attention of the FDA, who is now looking into the claims made on Selander‘s website.
Mark Kristal, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, wrote a 1971 dissertation on why animals eat their own placenta. According to Kristal, there‘s "no research to substantiate claims of human benefit." He points out that the cooking process will destroy proteins and hormones, and that drying out, or freezing the placenta, will destroy other ingredients.
USA Today July 18, 2007