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Hirudo medicinalisHirudo medicinalis

LEECH

 

Live leeches and extracted enzymes are given in orthodox medicine to prevent blood clotting after wounding or surgery, and in Chinese medicine to mobilize congealed blood after injury or clotting. Unani medicine uses them for piles, and for throat and urinary tract inflammation.

 

The widespread Western use of leeches to bleed patients as a remedy for almost any ailment only stopped some 100 years ago. As recently as 50 years ago, they were still used to treat black-and-blue spots on the skin, and live leeches are used in some hospitals today on certain patients who have undergone plastic surgery. Dead leeches continue to be used medically worldwide.

 

PARTS USED

Live, whole body, extracted enzymes.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Hirudin; calin.

 

ACTIONS

Prevents blood clotting.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Live leeches are used to prevent blood clotting after severe wounding or plastic surgery, and for varicose veins. The Chinese use dried leeches to mobilize congealed blood after injury or thrombosis, as well as for absent periods, and Unani medicine gives them for piles and inflammation of the throat and urinary tract.

 

PREPARATIONS

Powder, sometimes made into a paste with honey or oil.

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