China continues in selling human placenta coming from funeral homes, medical wastes

Illegal trade of human placenta among black markets in China is still booming in spite of the practice being banned more than one decade ago since 2007.

Based on the report of Thepaper on Monday (March 15),  fresh human placenta is still in demand in China because of the traditional belief that it has healing properties making it a traditional Chinese medicine (TMC). 

Chinese continue to claim that human placenta or ziheche  is  legitimate and effective treatment for various diseases such as hypohemia, and tuberculosis. It is also believed to be helpful in strengthening weak immune systems and improving reproductive health.

According to reports, the placentas are being sold from hospitals, funeral parlors, medical waste and treatment plants for  around 80 yuan ($12). When they reach the online markets such as Taobao and Alibaba, it can even cost up to 480 yuan ($73) depending if the placenta came from a baby girl or boy. 

The organ is being processed into a capsule, while some cook it and eat it directly  as it has no difference when eating meat according to Lin Xiu, obstetrician from The Reproductive Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Despite the alleged benefits of placenta in one's health, Lin said that it carries no significant function in the body  in any way it is processed. Since the placentas do not undergo strict regulations, it can even transfer viruses especially if the mother who owned the placenta has infectious disease like syphilis, HIV and hepatitis V.

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