Leech therapy. What is worth knowing about it?

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Leeches have long been used in medicine. Many people consider this method of treatment to be quite controversial, but its effectiveness is proven by research. Hirudotherapy, because this is the name of the natural method of treatment, which in its assumption uses leeches. Moreover, in some countries this method has been officially reguned

These small parasites, which feed on the blood of vertebrates, have a very valuable saliva. This is because it contains hirudin, a substance that prevents blood from clotting, and histamine, responsible for the expansion of blood vessels. Thus, leech saliva is an excellent remedy for various diseases and illnesses. Find out what ailments medical leech therapy can help with

For many years, treatment with leeches was associated mainly with the method used by witch doctors and charlatans. The development of pharmacology caused traditional medicine to abandon natural treatments in favor of more conventional solutions, but recently this trend has begun to reverse. Natural therapies are becoming a great complement to medical treatment. One of them is “putting” leeches, which after sucking on the body can have a very positive impact on our health. Numerous studies on saliva from the glands of leeches confirm that the substances they contain have health-promoting properties. Such animals are bred in sterile conditions and used only for medical purposes. While hirudotherapy treatments can be frightening for some, applying leeches is painless. What do leech treatments actually help?

Leeches and their curative properties


Hirudotherapy is a treatment method that involves the use of leeches. The treatment involves placing parasites in the areas to be treated. The leeches cling to them, aiming to get into the blood, while at the same time producing through the salivary glands a substance that has healing and regenerative properties. The number of leeches and the duration of the session is each time evaluated by a specialist and depends largely on the type of condition. It is worth knowing that treatments involving leeches are not painful. Before hirudotherapy, perfumed lotions, soaps or gels should not be applied to the skin, as the leeches may not then suck on the body

Leeches and varicose veins

One of the most common conditions that leeches are used to treat is varicose veins. Hirudotherapy can be a complementary method to drug treatment so that surgery can be avoided. Leeches can effectively help with venous thrombosis, lower leg ulceration or skin inflammation. Varicose veins are a very painful disease that has a genetic basis, but is also promoted by a sedentary lifestyle. Varicose veins on the legs often look unsightly. The treatment of varicose veins with leeches can be very effective as long as the treatment is done in the early stages of the disease. Attaching leeches to the legs improves blood circulation, so the tissues are better oxygenated. Feelings of heaviness in the legs may be reduced, regular treatments may eliminate swelling, and pain may be relieved. Additionally, the skin on the legs will be smoothed and brightened

What other conditions is leech therapy recommended for?

Hirudotherapy has found its way into many areas of medicine, so it is used to treat many conditions and diseases, including

  • arthritis,
  • diseases of the vascular system,
  • rheumatism,
  • venous thrombosis,
  • atherosclerosis,
  • hypertension,
  • stomach ulcers,
  • lung disease,
  • sciatica inflammation,
  • regeneration after plastic surgery,
  • blood supply to the limbs of people suffering from diabetes,
  • reducing pain from injury.


Main photo: shchus/ stock.adobe.com

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