Would you pop a placenta pill?

FAMILY MEAL: Natalie Stockell and her partner are producing are producing placenta pills.
FAMILY MEAL: Natalie Stockell and her partner are producing are producing placenta pills. Warren Lynam

LIGHTLY steamed with herbs and then sliced wafer thin, that's how professional chef Pete Ansell has come to prepare his signature dish.

But it's not what you may think it is.

Mr Ansell and his partner Natalie Stokell prepare placentas for encapsulation for women on the Sunshine Coast through their business Placenta Vitality.

The Mount Coolum couple originally tried a less palatable way of consuming the organ.

In 2009, their first daughter Skyla was born and Mr Ansell started making Ms Stokell placenta smoothies.

But Ms Stockell had trouble stomaching the bloody bundles.

"Being a vegetarian it was doubly yucky for me; placenta is quite meaty," she said.

"Pete, crazy chef that he is, cooked up a slice, and ate some raw and experienced a natural high."

When their second daughter Star was born in 2012, Mr Ansell prepared, dehydrated and encapsulated the placenta.

Ms Stokell took the tablets and said she felt energised, was more emotionally stable, bled a lot less than the first time and had a really good milk supply. The placenta pills are believed to balance the hormones, increase energy, enhance milk supply, help prevent postnatal depression, reduce postpartum bleeding, speed up postnatal healing and replenish iron.

"Anyone could take them. Placenta is becoming more of a recognised product and supplement; often animal placentas are used as a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine," she said.

"It's like taking a supplement. Maybe the first couple of times (it was icky) but once I realised how good it made me feel, I got over it.

"It's so far removed from what they are when they're in a capsule."

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How it works

Pick up the placenta within 24-48 hours of birth

Lightly steamed with herbs

Sliced wafer thin

The placenta is dried

Depending on the size of the placenta, it will yield between 100 and 200 capsules

Other uses for placenta

Make a smoothie.

Put it on your skin - some cosmetics companies use placenta in their products.

Put it in the ground and plant a tree.

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