Q:

What is leech therapy used for?

A:

Quick Answer

Leech therapy is the medicinal use of leeches to treat disease and reattach or transplant limbs. Leech therapy is advocated in a number of treatment processes as the worms contain compounds and enzymes in their saliva that have an anti-coagulating effect on the blood and anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, vasodilating properties, notes Mehdi Leech Therapist.

Continue Reading
What is leech therapy used for?
Credit: Getty Images Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

According to Mehdi Leech Therapist, leech therapy can be used for a variety of diseases and conditions. As a result, leeches are used to treat arthritis, arterial or venous disease, heart conditions and bronchitis. Out of the 600 species of leeches that are known, 15 are used medically. People suffering from such GI conditions as hepatitis or stomach ulcers can benefit from leech therapy. Patients suffering from gynecological disorders receive relief by the use of leeches as well. The creepy-crawly but beneficial worms are also used for treating such skin disorders as eczema, psoriasis and herpes. Cerebral palsy and glaucoma are also treated with the therapy.

According to PBS, leech therapy is an ancient medicine. In fact, doctors who treated patients with the worms in medieval times were called “leeches” as well. Ancient doctors believed that leeches could cure about anything, so blood-letting was a common practice. The leech is used in modern society in the field of microsurgery. In particular, the leech can aid doctors in reattaching ear veins, veins that are so tiny that they are difficult to reattach without the worms’s assistance. A Harvard physician discovered how leeches could be used in surgery in 1985. Since that time, leeches have been used to perform reattachments of the toes, fingers and scalp, and have been included in such procedures as breast reconstruction surgery, limb transplantation and skin flap surgery. Biopharm in the United Kingdom is the leading supplier of medical leeches.

Learn more about Conditions & Diseases

Related Questions

Explore