Placenta, as defined by Wikipedia is “an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother’s blood supply.” And in China, it is also something to be sold.
According to a recent Global Times article, this trade, which began 2,200 years ago, is now popular again. “A middle-aged man surnamed Ye from Yunnan Province told the Global Times Sunday that he has been getting a steady supply of placentas from local hospitals now for three years. He buys about 2,000 to 3,000 placentas from facilities across the province every month, and then resell[s]them online.” However, the resale of placenta is illegal.
Its demand lies in its health benefits. “Traditional Chinese medicine describes the placenta as being rich in protein, hormones and enzymes. It is said to be useful in improving blood circulation, China News Service reported earlier.” However, Beijing doctor Zhao Wenqiu says its consumption could lead to health consequences.
Despite the booming business of selling placenta and its disputed health benefits, every mother has a right to keep hers, either as a token, gift or otherwise. So mothers, speak up about keeping the placenta – otherwise, it might end up on the black market.
Read about our first-hand account here.