Veterinary medicine

Hirudotherapy (treatment with leeches) - benefits and harms, indications and contraindications, schemes of using medical leeches for various diseases, reviews of doctors

Leeches - annelids, leading a parasitic lifestyle. Most of the species, and there are about 500 of them, prefer to dwell in freshwater bodies, but there are also representatives of marine biotopes. On the territory of our country there are 62 species.

In previous centuries, leeches were widely used to purify human blood. However, in the last century there was a peak of popularity for these worms, as a result of which their collection and the intensive destruction of the natural range of leeches led to a reduction in their numbers. To date, breeding worms for medical purposes are engaged in specialized laboratories.

Characteristics

The leech body has a ringed appearance, but slightly flattened than that of worms. And the stomach is a modified midgut. Most species of these worms have eyes, but all have a closed-type circulatory system.

Each individual has two suckers:

With the help of these suckers, the worm is sucked to the victim, as well as to surrounding objects. With their help, leech moves.

Diet

What leeches eat in nature? In most cases, leeches feed on the blood of mollusks, vertebrates and other representatives of the animal world. It is these types (not all) are used for medical purposes.

Medical leeches have three maxillary plates, on which a huge number of small and very sharp teeth. The jaws themselves are a collection of thick muscles. At the beginning, the leech pierces the skin with teeth, then tears the tissue and sucks blood. After a bite, a protein substance called hirudin is secreted from the sebaceous glands of the sucker of the worm. It does not allow blood to clot, but, on the contrary, provokes its influx to the wound. In addition, saliva with anesthetic properties is released, so the worm has been able to go unnoticed for a long time.

Proboscis leeches

One of the representatives of this subspecies is the fish leech, which swims beautifully, unlike the medicinal leech. What do leeches of this species eat? Tissue fluid fish.

These are rather large worms and can be up to 50 centimeters in length. They do not disdain almost any type of fish, on one you can find more than 100 worms.

When the leech does not eat, it calmly swims in a pond or “sits” on aquatic plants. For a man, it carries no danger. In winter, these worms do not hibernate, and without fish they can live up to 3 months.

Habitat - Eurasia, lakes and large rivers, very rare, but is found in wastewater. Prefers fish from the genus Carp.

By the way, this worm may appear in the aquarium. What do leeches eat in such cases? All the same tissue fluid. It is quite difficult to cope with such a problem in a closed pond; most likely, complete disinfection and disinfection will be required. Get into the aquarium can, along with live food.

The cochlear leech also belongs to proboscis ringed worms. This is a very slow creature that does not even move independently, but relies entirely on the flow. What do leeches eat? Mostly with the blood of pulmonary freshwater mollusks, and this is, first of all, pond creatures. After the attack of the worm, as a rule, the snail dies, as the leech causes an obstruction of the respiratory tract. Worms also come into the aquarium with live food.

The closest relatives of these species include bird leeches - species that "feast on" the blood of Kamchatka crab and shrimp.

Horseleech

These worms are also called Nile or Egyptian. They live in Central Asia and the Mediterranean, in the Caucasus. Prefer freshwater bodies of small size.

What leeches eat in a pond? The horse species also prefers blood, but does not have a developed jaw, therefore they stick to the mucous membranes of the victim when it is bathed in a pond. Most often, horses are the victims, but the worm does not disdain other cloven-hoofed animals, amphibians, and even representatives of the human race. They can even cling to the conjunctiva of the eye. The most dangerous thing for these worms is that, once in the body, they greatly increase in size and, if they are ingested through the mouth, they can cause a blockage of the respiratory tract and, as a result, suffocation.

Predatory leeches

The most common species in Asia and Europe is the small false cone leech. What do leeches eat in reservoirs with stagnant water? Strangely enough, but they use invertebrate representatives of the animal world. These insect larvae are microscopic worms. The very same little False-cone leech extends to a maximum of 6 centimeters in length, and can itself become a victim of a fish or an invertebrate predator.

This is the way the leech of an erpoobdel is coming. It is quite large and can be seen from afar. This is a wonderful swimmer, but the worm does not have a proboscis, but the body is equipped with a powerful maw. What do leeches eat? All the same invertebrates are mollusks, fish fry, crustaceans, insect larvae. This worm does not disdain even carrion.

Some interesting facts

After being bitten by a medical leech, the blood may not stop for a whole day. The largest leech is about 30 centimeters long.

For the first time, they started growing ringworms for medical purposes in Wales, from where leeches are still being supplied. But the most interesting thing is that there are leeches that use vegetation in addition to invertebrate fauna.

Use of medical leeches

In Russia and Western countries for hirudotherapy use medicinal leech - a type of annelids. It lives almost throughout Europe, but in recent centuries its numbers have declined greatly due to mass trapping.

A medicinal leech is a parasite that feeds on blood. Worms live in freshwaters, where they attach to different surfaces and trap sacrifices.

Having stuck to the victim, the hungry leech can drink up to 15 ml of blood at a time, while it increases in mass by 7-9 times. Sucked blood is stored in the stomach of the parasite, not curtailed, for several months. After the next feeding, the medical leech can survive without food for 2 years.

History of hirudotherapy

Hirudotherapy is an ancient trend in medicine. Leech therapy was practiced thousands of years ago. About him was known in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient India. References to hirudotherapy are found in the treatises of Hippocrates, Avicenna.

Hirudotherapy experienced a peak of popularity in Europe in the XVII-XVIII centuries. In those days, the idea that many diseases were caused by "bad blood" was common among doctors. Accordingly, for the treatment often used bloodletting. During the Middle Ages, bloodletting was most often carried out by the method of notches, for this purpose they used a special tool - scarifier. But in some tender and hard-to-reach places, its application was associated with great difficulties, in these cases leeches were used. A physician could place up to 40 leeches on the patient's body to release a large amount of "bad blood".

By the middle of the 19th century, strong changes had taken place in European medicine, many concepts had changed dramatically, and hirudotherapy as a method of bloodletting was a thing of the past.

However, in the late XIX - early XX century, researchers again became interested in medical leeches. Some useful substances were found in the saliva of these animals. Hirudotherapy has begun to gain popularity again.

In Russia, "leech fishing" at one time was developed very well and brought considerable income. Thus, in the XIX century, Russia annually supplied about 70 million leeches to European countries. However, since official medicine decided to abandon hirudotherapy, breeding, trapping and selling leeches have almost disappeared.

Currently, the cultivation of medical leeches is carried out on special biofactories.

What doctors are engaged in hirudotherapy?

The leech therapist treats leeches. This is a specialist who has a higher medical education and has completed special hirudotherapy courses.

The competence of the hirudotherapeutist includes the following activities:

  • Interaction with other specialists who refer patients to hirudotherapy courses: general practitioners, pulmonologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, otolaryngologists (ENT doctors), endocrinologists, neurologists.
  • Determining the duration of the course of hirudotherapy and individual sessions, the number and points of productions of medical leeches.
  • Directly conducting sessions of hirudotherapy. Often, leech practitioners are also experts in the field of acupuncture.
Usually hirudotherapeutists work in specialized hirudocenters. They are in many cities of Russia.

Hirudotherapy for arterial hypertension

It is believed that the therapeutic effect of hirudotherapy in arterial hypertension is achieved by bleeding. The leeches suck out a certain amount of blood, as a result of which the blood pressure decreases slightly, symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, "front sight", and heart pain decrease.

Be that as it may, lowering blood pressure by reducing the volume of circulating blood does not solve the underlying problem. It is necessary to carry out treatment aimed at the cause of arterial hypertension.

The distribution area of ​​medicinal leeches

They live in large numbers in the north to the border with Scandinavia, in the south - to Algeria and Transcaucasia. There is an assumption that within the limits of their habitat, they live in isolated populations, avoiding contact with groups of other leeches. The form of leeches used in medicine resides mainly in Azerbaijan and Transcaucasia. A different form, pharmacy, lives in the Krasnodar Territory, Stavropol.

In the wild, the medicinal leech is found almost everywhere in Europe.

Typical leech habitat

The leeches are adapted to aquatic and aquatic habitats. To pump from one reservoir to another, they are able to overcome a large distance over land. They live only in fresh waters. Do not tolerate saline water sources. The habitual place where they live is lakes or ponds, the bottom of which is lined with silt. They prefer clean water, inhabited by frogs and thick reeds.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies medical leeches as animals with a vulnerable quantitative composition. Some habitats that have long been familiar to leeches are no longer the zones of their distribution. The reason for the reduction is the massive outflow for medical purposes. Today, the intensity of depletion of the population has decreased, due to the fact that the method of bloodletting has become irrelevant.

Also, biofactories are being created in which leeches are artificially grown, however, this does little to restore the population. Also a clear factor that leads to the death of a large number of these animals is the reduction in the number of frogs. They are the main source of food for small leeches that cannot suck on larger animals.

The numbers in many regions have declined many times due to industrial catches in the past, drainage of wetlands and water pollution.

Hirudotherapy for kidney disease

In nephrology, hirudotherapy is most often used in such conditions as glomerulonephritis, the effects of kidney injuries, and chronic renal failure.

Features of hirudotherapy for kidney disease:

Features of the structure of the body of medical leeches and how they look (with photos)

It would seem, what is special about leeches? However, supporters of treatment with leeches, and even more so professional hirudotherapy therapists will declare with complete conviction that they have never met any more sweet and charming creatures.

The leeches belong to the hirudine class (from the Latin "hirudo"). In the past, it was called the medical leech. The behavior of a medicinal leech is different in that it usually attacks bathed people.

According to the biological classification, the leech belongs to the ringed worms, a detachment of beschobotnyh. The family is called Girudinid, or maxillary leech. And all the individuals of this family are either predators that prey on invertebrates, or vertebrate parasites. It would seem, not too pleasant acquaintance.

What does a medical leech look like, so appreciated by our ancestors? Its length can reach 12-15 cm. In fact, it is a digestive tube covered with extremely sensitive skin. It is through the skin that leeches breathe, moreover, it is an organ of sense. The muscular system of leeches is highly developed, so that these creatures are very mobile.

Look at the photo - at the medicinal leech the oral cavity passes into the throat:

One of the features of the leech structure is the presence of 10 pairs of lateral processes on its stomach. In the intestines they live disinfecting bacteria, which is why the saliva of these creatures is always sterile.

As seen in the photo, the medical leeches look very attractive, and on the backs of some of them you can even look at the patterns:

The movements of leeches in the water simply fascinate with some special plastic.

What leeches eat, where they live, how their use in medicine began, and you will learn a lot of other interesting information on this page.

What leeches are medicinal and what is their effect?

To achieve the therapeutic effect of leeches, far from all kinds can be used, but there are more than 400 species in nature. What leeches medicinal, and where they are grown? In medicine, use only one type of leech - medical leech. This species is divided into two subspecies - medicinal and medicinal leeches.

Pay attention to the photo - the medical leech is easy enough to determine by appearance:

It is smooth, almost flat, with a sharp head and stripes on the back.

The body of the medicinal leech should not be covered with hairs.

The back of the leech is painted in a light green color with an olive tinge. Depending on the subspecies of an ordinary medicinal leech, tones from intense green to grayish may predominate in its color.

For the medicinal leech there are longitudinal stripes of yellow-orange color, which stretch along the back and sides. The abdomen may be darker than the back.

The leeches are usually small, but the researchers wondered to what size these creatures could grow. In the middle of the XX century in our country, one of the researchers engaged in growing leeches in the laboratory. He fed his “experimental” weekly, and its length reached almost 50 cm. This giant leech lived for about 7 years.

But at the present time there is no need to independently determine the species and subspecies of leeches, because you need to buy medical leeches exclusively in pharmacies and specialized farms, and there is such an opportunity. Like any drug, leeches must be certified.

Medical leeches are grown in specialized biofactories, and because of this they are sterile and cannot become a source of human infection.

Why is medical leech so valuable? The therapeutic effect is achieved thanks to the secret that is part of the leech saliva, which contains many biologically active substances. Accordingly, when setting leeches, biologically active substances from their saliva enter the patient’s bloodstream and affect practically all organs and systems.

Medical leech - unique in its qualities doctor. It is able to recognize a diseased organ or system of the body and detect biologically active points for acting on the desired organ. Due to this property of medical leeches, they are sometimes used as diagnosticians: doctors allow little healers to determine for themselves where to suck, thereby checking the diagnosis made by traditional means. It is for this reason that hirudotherapy finds its application in almost any field of medicine.

How many teeth does a leech have and how does it “work”?

Many are interested in how many teeth a leech has, and how can these creatures be treated? On the head of the leech there are five pairs of eyes, in the mouth - more than 250 chitinous teeth located on three jaws. With the help of the teeth, the leech “pierces” the skin to a depth of about 2 mm, after which it sucks blood, which is enough for one leech to be from 5 to 15 ml. The leech, drunk with blood, grows in size, its body becomes loose-looking.

The leech is the owner of the sharpest jaws. In the process of how the leech "works", biting through the patient's skin, it sucks from 5 to 15 ml of blood, which is 3-5 times more than the leech itself weighs, and approximately the same amount of blood and lymph flows after the hirudotherapy session. The leech chooses the bite site itself - the warmest and, consequently, the blood-rich area. As it is saturated, this natural healer grows in size. The leech injects its saliva into the bite site, due to which there is an effective therapeutic effect on the human body, which begins almost immediately after the bite.

На самом деле целебное и обезболивающее воздействие пиявки объясняется ее биологией. In essence, the leech is a parasite, and in order to get drunk with blood, it needs calm conditions, and since the nervous “donor” who experiences pain and discomfort is unlikely to give the leech a tight “lunch”, she injects an anesthetic substance under his skin bite time.

What can be compared with leech bite? By and large, he is not more sick than a mosquito bite.

Medical leeches effectively treat bruises and bruises. If you put several leeches around a bruise, bruise or swelling, you will not see any signs of damage the very next day. Leech will relieve you of swelling, pain and bruise.

Saturated, the leech disappears itself. It can not be removed by force. If the leech, in the view of the hirudotherapeutist, does not disappear too long, he brings a cotton swab dipped in iodine or alcohol to it. The leech very sharply reacts to any unnatural odors and, as a result, will immediately disappear.

Features of the leech body structure

As mentioned earlier, the medicinal leech has an elastic body, elongated, with well-developed muscles. It is divided into 33 segments. It has two suckers, the back is larger than the front, its function is to harden on the substrate. Each segment is divided into a certain number of segments (3 or 5), in the central ring of each segment there are sensory papillae.

The abdomen and back differ in color, the back is dark, with brown stripes. Outside the body has a cuticle, it is repeatedly discharged with growth. By the intensity with which the animal sheds, you can find out the health status of the leech.

In one feeding, a hungry leech weighing 1.5-2 g can suck up to 15 ml of blood.

The leech has four layers of muscles. The first consists of circular fibers responsible for swallowing blood, followed by a layer of diagonal and deep longitudinal fibers, they provide contraction of the body, the last layer is the dorsal-abdominal muscles, they serve to make the body flat. The connective tissue is very elastic, dense, it covers both muscle fibers and organs.

The nervous system consists of ganglia and segmental nerves extending from them. At the anterior and posterior ends of the body, the ganglia combine to form a pair of singangles, one pharyngeal and one anal.

Some authors distinguish three intraspecific forms of medical leeches: medical, pharmacy and eastern.

The receptors, which are located on each segment, are divided by type of sensitivity into three types: baroreceptors, thermoreceptors, and chemoreceptors. They all serve to search for food and orientation in space. On top of that, in the first five segments there are five pairs of eyes, including special pigment cells, with the help of which the leech can distinguish light from darkness.

The digestive system includes: the mouth, in the central part of the anterior sucker, the jaws - one upper and two lower ones, each containing 100 chitin cloves, they can damage the skin of the body to which it sucks. The mouth also receives a special secret that prevents blood from clotting at the time of absorption. The stomach is presented in the form of an elastic tube, which has 11 paired pockets. The muscular sphincter separates the stomach from the intestines. In the latter, fecal masses accumulate, at the removal of which the water turns dark.

Often the medicinal leech is confused with other externally similar species.

Urine, which is formed in the body of a leech, is excreted through the nephropores. By the type of hermaphrodite breeding, she cannot fertilize herself alone, she still needs a pair.

Nutrition and breeding leeches

It feeds mainly on the blood of warm-blooded animals, but can sometimes attack the frogs and fish. The duration of blood absorption always varies from the state of the leech.

A starved individual can take blood for 2 hours.

It reproduces once a year, in summer. The copulation process takes place on land, the leeches twist around each other and stick, after fertilization the leech lays 5 cocoons, from which babies will be born in 2 weeks.

Features and reproduction of medical leeches

The structure of the medicinal leech is similar to the structure of a normal worm. Well, who would even imagine the beginnings of the mind in not very pleasant crawling creatures? In fact, many scientists are of the opinion that the behavior of leeches is difficult to explain solely by instincts and innate reflexes. Moreover, ethologists, as animal behavior specialists are called, are trying to solve such a riddle: are worms capable of loving? Of course, we are not talking about the traditional in our understanding of love. However, the researchers concluded that the leeches have a kind of inner world. This alone makes it difficult to call them primitive creatures. Of course, the inner world of a leech is, by definition, human, incomprehensible, and at present it has not yet been studied too deeply. However, ethologists have found that leeches can love each other and their own offspring.

How could scientists come to such conclusions? Of course, watching the leeches and their behavior. Despite the fact that leeches are hermaphroditic, they are not adapted to self-fertilization. This means that nature has given them the opportunity to create a mate, and for breeding two sexually mature individuals are needed. Moreover, reproduction occurs solely as a result of copulation, or internal fertilization. The body structure of leeches allows them to mate in different positions.

The reproduction period of leeches also depends on climatic conditions. With favorable weather leeches mate closer to the end of summer. Under adverse conditions, mating can occur much earlier or later. Putting the cocoons, leeches buried in silt or coastal soil, thus hiding from the onset of cold weather. In winter, leeches also hibernate.

They take care of the offspring: before proceeding to breeding, medical leeches choose and arrange a place for laying cocoon. And some species of leeches attach cocoons with fertilized eggs to their abdomen.

And while the “children” do not become sufficiently independent, they will continue to travel with their parents.

Places where leeches live in nature: habitat

Where do leeches live in nature? Medical leeches live in Europe and Asia Minor, live in freshwater bodies and feed on the blood of large mammals. An ordinary leech is found in our country, which is prevalent mainly in the south of the European part of Russia, although it is also found in southeastern Siberia.

The natural habitats of leeches are both reservoirs and land. Of course, water is more attractive to them as a habitat. Leeches prefer shallow marshes with grass-covered shores, but other standing water bodies are quite suitable for them as a place of residence. They are even found in floodplain paddy fields. Although leeches do not like running water, some representatives of the type of medicinal leech can live even in rivers, preferring, however, quiet backwaters.

Leech habitat habitat is shallow water, they do not like depth. These worms prefer to be closer to the shore, bury themselves, hide among the vegetation, or hide under a rock - and hunt from this ambush. This is how leeches live in the warm season, and their activity also depends on the weather. They are demanding for heat and therefore most of all love windless sunny days. When weather deteriorates, leech activity decreases.

Surprisingly, moisture-loving leeches tolerate well the heat and even drought, falling into a kind of hibernation. Places where leeches live in nature are necessarily silty. These creatures are buried in silt and seem to numb in anticipation of more favorable conditions. And as soon as the reservoir is again filled with water, the leeches come to life. They are also able to dwell on land for a long time, hiding in terrestrial vegetation or moving towards a more attractive, in their opinion, water body.

What do leeches eat in nature and how do they react to the weather?

What leeches eat in nature is another common question. They feed on attacking frogs, fish and tadpoles, but still prefer to parasitize warm-blooded animals. And when a warm-blooded animal or person comes into the habitat of leeches, they start a feast. But even if this happens infrequently, the leeches do not suffer too much. They are able to survive the “hungry” periods, feeding on the blood stored in the stomach and intestines. For leeches, it is normal to starve for a long time - up to six months. However, in the natural habitat they starve infrequently, because animals go deep into the water and allow them to drink their blood.

Leeches, especially some of their species, are sensitive to changes in the weather. Especially vividly, the ability of the “forecaster” is expressed in the predatory big Lokonkonskaya leech. By the behavior of leeches, you can understand whether it will rain, hail or sunny weather. Leeches, it turns out, feel the drops in atmospheric pressure. Putting leeches in an aquarium or a glass jar with water and observing their behavior, with the help of such a kind of barometer you can determine the weather. If the weather is clear, leeches are in the water and show surprising activity. When atmospheric pressure decreases, they try to get to the land, or at least stay closer to the surface of the water. As a rule, this indicates a soon to rain or snowfall.

History and interesting facts about leeches

The history of leeches has its roots in the distant past. No one knows how people learned about the healing properties of leeches. Perhaps this was due to the peculiarities of the life of the ancient man, who had to get food for himself, hunting and fishing. It may well be that our ancestors, engaged in fishing, were attacked by leeches and after that they noticed an improvement in their state of health. But in any case, leeches from ancient times are used as a medicine.

Of course, this did not happen immediately, but gradually more and more cases of "helping" their health from the side of inconspicuous worms were postponed in people's memory.

References to the use of leeches, as well as how useful it is, can be found in the Hebrew, Old Indian and Persian texts. Of course, biochemical features of saliva leeches were out of the question.

For centuries, bleeding was considered an indispensable method of treating all diseases, and leeches were also used to rid the patient of “extra” blood, and bleeding with the help of leeches was painless.

Experienced doctors, of course, guessed that using leeches for bloodletting is much more useful than using a knife, but they did not even try to explain this phenomenon.

Pliny the Elder, Claudius Galen and other luminaries of ancient medicine did not ignore hirudotherapy with their attention.

However, like their contemporaries, they considered leeches primarily as a tool for bloodletting. The physician and philosopher Ibn Sina, or Avicenna, in the “Canon of Medicine” was the first to consider the issues of hirudotherapy. His work is the first of the relatively in-depth studies on leeches.

One of the facts about leeches states that in Europe of the times of the early Middle Ages, hirudotherapy was used exclusively for bleeding, as, indeed, in ancient times. For a long time it was practiced by barbers and medicine men - adherents of traditional methods of treatment.

But the attitude to the use of leeches for medical purposes was twofold, since the clergy who took the medical practice into their own hands, bloodletting was prohibited. So, leeches are also banned.

Only in the Renaissance in Europe again began to interest in hirudotherapy. At the end of the 18th century, leeching treatment became fashionable, since at that time it was believed that extracting blood could even save from death. The leeches became increasingly popular. They were placed with dizziness, sterility, shortness of breath, heart disease, and even with obesity, and this was described in ancient manuscripts.

Treatment with leeches at that time was so fashionable and became so widespread that his sessions were even captured by artists.

Interestingly, women willingly used leeches for cosmetic purposes. They were put on the skin behind the ears a few hours before the ball, after which they enjoyed an amazing effect: energy arrived, eyes burned, a blush played on their cheeks. Because of this, the ladies had enough strength to spend the night long in dancing and flirting.

The fashion for leeches led to the fact that in many European countries their catching was adjusted. For example, from France "fiddling doctors" exported to England. This development has contributed to a significant reduction in the number of leeches in nature, because people artificially did not know how to grow them artificially. Ponds and other reservoirs became empty, leeches began to meet less and less, and the Europeans turned their eyes in the direction of Russia - a huge country with huge lands that they began to lease to foreign entrepreneurs. So, Russia became the main supplier of leeches abroad, and their export soon became so profitable that it brought almost as much money to the treasury as did the supply of grain. But as a result of this development, the number of leeches in our country also decreased significantly.

Only at the end of the XVIII century, the authorities banned the capture and export of leeches. In addition, a decree was issued on the establishment of nurseries for breeding leeches in artificial conditions. At the beginning of the XIX century, the first leech farming appeared in Moscow, where about 700,000 leeches were grown. Revolutionary "healers" were in demand among physicians, barbers and shopkeepers. “Bloodshed” through leeches at that time was extremely popular. It was believed that this leads to rejuvenation and healing of the body. Of course, leeches were used for precisely these purposes. However, people already noticed the effectiveness of "living healers." The great Russian doctors, in particular Pirogov, used hirudotherapy to treat various diseases. The leeches were sold in every pharmacy. Another interesting fact about leeches: almost 30 million of them were used annually in our country at the beginning of the 19th century!

With the development of the medical industry in the 20th century, strong medicines, such as antibiotics, appeared, and the need for leeches disappeared. Bloodletting was considered a “barbaric” method of treatment, while the other useful properties of leeches were not known at that time. Some experts, however, guessed that the leech brings considerable benefits to the body, but it has not been proven scientifically yet. As a result, hirudotherapy is a thing of the past by the beginning of the last century. Doctors preferred to use more “quick” means, such as injections and tablets. As a result, almost the entire XX century passed under the auspices of official medicine.

Hirudotherapy is practically not used. Only here synthetic medicines, curing one disease, could “give” to the patient several others. And gradually, interest in the forgotten traditional methods of treatment began to appear again. As a result, in the 90s of the last century, researchers again turned to leeches. Scientists were able to prove that the leech is useful not only because it saves the patient from "bad blood". The therapeutic effect of a leech, as it turned out in a number of studies, also lies in its saliva.

What do medical leeches treat?

In 1990, the World Society of Hirudologists was created, and a year later, the first world congress on the use of leeches in medical practice was held for the first time. The medicinal leech was officially recognized as a medicinal product and entered into the register of medicinal products of the Russian Federation. In 1992, the Russian Association of Hirudologists was created in our country. Thus, a new branch of official medicine appeared. Scientists and researchers were able to isolate from the leech’s saliva a multitude of biologically active substances and from scientific positions proved the benefits of hirudotherapy. Moreover, most of the active compounds still cannot be synthesized under laboratory conditions.

The leech, as it turned out, was not only a wonderful doctor, but also an excellent preventive measure.

Hirudotherapy contributes to the protection of the human body from vascular diseases, inflammatory processes, etc. In practice, the doctors were able to find out that the leech can be successfully used after surgery to prevent purulent complications. Postoperative stitches heal faster with the help of a natural “doctor”, keloid scars are more successfully resolved.

The Cure Leech video demonstrates how these natural healers are used:

The leech is also effective in tissue transplantation - they take root better, and the risk of postoperative complications is significantly reduced.

Interest in leeches is manifested not only in our country. In Europe and America, hirudotherapy is used as an additional means in the postoperative period. Leeches are also used in plastic surgery. In China, doctors widely use leeches in the treatment of atherosclerosis.

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