Ladies, would you drink this? 

Daily Mail – There is a tall glass of something very red and rather alarming on the kitchen counter when I meet Kathryn Beale at her three-bedroom home in Swindon. More scary still, she appears to be drinking it.

Fortunately it soon becomes clear that my suspicions are unwarranted, as the substance in the tumbler is nothing more troubling than plain old fruit juice.

But I am here because Kathryn is a national expert in the art of the strange foodstuff, and one very disconcerting product in particular.

The 41-year-old mother-of-two is part of a rapidly growing cottage industry that prepares fresh placenta for new mothers. Along with some 60 other specialists in this country, she whizzes it into smoothies, or grinds it into pills for women convinced of its health benefits.

Mothers have reported powerful healing properties, saying that eating their own placenta (the blood-filled organ that supports the foetus in the womb) has helped to increase their milk supply, reduce post-natal bleeding, stabilise blood pressure, and, crucially, provide them with more energy to care for their babies.

Read more: Daily Mail