A man has eaten his wife\'s placenta in a taco. Wikimedia Commons

A man has eaten his wife's placenta in a taco after the birth of their first son, the Guardian reported.

Food and travel writer Nick Baines asked the doctors whether he could take his wife's placenta home because he wanted to taste it.

"Asking to take home the placenta was the most difficult part of my foray into placentophagy," he explained.

Despite doctors raising their eyebrows and looked at him rather puzzled, Baines was determined not to waste what he considered a one-time opportunity.

"I wanted to know how it would taste."

Baines researched on social media for possible recipes and, surprisingly, he found many, suggesting that other people have eaten this "ingredient" rarely found in the kitchen.

"Despite its taboo nature, placenta appears to be an incredibly versatile ingredient.

"Twitter threw up many mothers praising the placenta smoothie, Google returned recipes for lasagne and pizza and even a dedicated recipe book, while, back in 1998, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall made a pâté out of one woman's placenta."

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the placenta is considered as a powerful and sacred medicine full of life force QI. (www.doulaolympia.com)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the placenta is considered as a powerful and sacred medicine full of life force QI. (www.doulaolympia.com)

Baines opted to have the placenta raw in in a smoothie and cooked in a taco, fried with a little garlic and paprika.

He did not particularly like the smoothie, which tasted like banana "superseded by a metallic, bloody back note. The cooked placenta, on the other hand, was actually pretty good."

The practice of eating placenta can be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s and many people today, including celebrities, are keen to taste it.

The growing popularity of this phenomenon has to do with the belief that consuming the placenta may offer a new mother certain health benefits.

Some people also think that the ingestion of placenta can reduce the incidence of post-natal depression.

Although the placenta is rich in protein, many professionals claim it is designed only to nourish the child, not the mother.

Consultant obstetrician Maggie Blott said there is no medical justification to support eating human placenta.

"Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition - but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it."