Extract of afterbirth from the royal family?
A friend came back from Japan recently with a passle of interesting gifts. The one she pulled out of the bag for me was a pink foil sleeve filled with something called Queen Up Royal Placenta. There was no other English on the wrapper.
My initial reaction was revulsion. Placenta candy? Isn’t placenta the lining of human uterus, sloughed off after birth?
In fact, it’s often referred to as “afterbirth.” My sister-in law kept hers and used it to fertilize a tree, and I’ve heard of hippies making a stew and eating it. But how could it be made into candy?
Although it’s hard to imagine human placenta in commercially manufactured candy, placenta extracted from animal sources–principally sheep–can be found in shampoos and vitamin extracts intended for human consumption. But what the hell was in my candy?
The candy proved to be nine bright yellow orbs, which rolled around like marbles once the bag was slit. It tasted kinda little Skittles and had a similar chewy density.
My research led me back to the Internet, where I stumbled on a garbled exposition of how a similar product is produced:
Queen Bee Placenta Essence is made from the queen bee larvae collected from the apiaries of the pollution-free virgin forest in Mount Dahong, Shen Nong Jia Forest District, being renowned as “Home of Hundreds of Flowers” and “Natural Grand Herbal Garden”, of Hubei Province, China. What is the queen bee larvae? What are their health benefits or goodness? The following information provides some references to those who want to understand more about the queen bee larvae (i.e., queen bee placenta) and the manufactured product, Queen Bee Placenta Essence.
What is queen bee placenta?
Queen bee placenta is a traditional Chinese name for queen bee larvae. The bee larvae are of 3 days old after the eggs being laid by the queen bee and hatched to become the larvae and before being covered by the pupa. The bee larvae ingest a large amount of royal jelly which is the only food for the larvae within these 3 days. So the 3-day old larvae are the placenta of abundant nutrition. The bee larvae are taken out from the surface of the royal jelly within the queen bee placenta. There are about 300 grams of bee larvae could be taken out from 1kilogram of royal jelly. So the queen bee larvae are the precious and highly potent health product. The bodies of the bee larvae are of milky and shiny white color.
Since the queen bee larvae only ingest the royal jelly, so their bodies grow faster and bigger than others. Besides containing the total nutritional ingredients of royal jelly, the queen bee larvae also have many biological enzymes and entomic growth hormones. Hence, the queen bee larvae have multiple health functions to human bodies.
Come to think of it, I think I’d rather eat sheep placenta.
Shaped like gumballs, tasting like Skittles, and jam-packed with jellied insect goodness. Thank you Japan (or is it China?)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 30, 2012