Placenta Methods: Raw vs. Steamed

     The most common question I receive from clients is in regards to the placenta encapsulation method. Which method should I chose? What are the differences? Which is better? Here is an unpretentious breakdown of the two most common methods. If you are encapsulating with a doctor of Chinese Medicine it is a great idea to speak with them about the methods they recommend for your and your placenta. Most encapsulation specialist are not experts in that field and instead provide a basic steamed method to encapsulation. Below you will find the pros and cons to steamed and raw encapsulation methods. 

 Raw placenta before either steaming or slicing for dehydration. 

Raw placenta before either steaming or slicing for dehydration. 

Raw Method

     When preparing a placenta with the raw method the placenta is cleaned thoroughly, sliced very thin, and then placed in the dehydrated. There are varying techniques to dehydrating but most specialists will follow similar guidelines. Typically the placenta will be dehydrated at 160 degrees for the first 2-4 hours and then 120 degrees until it is done. The belief behind this method of preparation is that, by choosing not to steam the placenta, essential nutrients and hormones are not damaged with high heat.

Steamed Method

     Also called the traditional Chinese method (TCM), during the steamed encapsulation method the placenta is first cleaned and then steamed at a low temperature alone or with ginger, lemon, and hot peppers. After steaming for a short period the placenta is thinly sliced and then dehydrated at 160 degrees for the first 4 hours and 125 degrees until done.    

Raw method benefits:

  • Highest potency of the nutrients and hormones- you may need a smaller dosage of capsules.
  •  High yield of capsules- they may last longer.
  • Potentially gives the mother more energy due to high nutrient content.

Steamed method benefits:

  • More likely to kill any bacteria on the placenta.
  • Used for centuries with traditional Chinese medicine encourages heat for the postpartum mother, which allows the uterus to seal, for blood to flow to the areas of the body that need healed, and Qi to replenish.
  • Is thought to warm the body

Steamed method cons:

  • Placenta is exposed to potentially harmful heat.
  • Smaller yield.   

Raw method cons:

  • With a lack of heat, bacteria may not be destroyed during preparation.


about Moscow ID Placenta encapsulation raw TCM

     Still not sure which method is best for you? Contact your local placenta encapsulation specialist to see which method they recommend. At Palouse Placenta we find the two methods to have similar results and rarely recommend one method over the other.