Medical Leech treatment(Hirudotherapy) and Raising medical leeches
As an unprecedented treatment method, Medical leeches has been regarded as an drug treatment in Medical Pharmaceuticals Law(2nd article, first subparagraph) in Germany.
Only in Europe, more than 100 million medical leeches are used annually.
In 2004, Medical leech therapy is accredited by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and allowed to be sold in pharmacies as in Europe.
Five million leeches were used in Paris hospitals in 1830.
Nowadays, saliva of the medical leeches are used to obtained medicinal drugs.
Hirudo Verbana and Hirudo Medicinalis are the medical leech species in Turkey.
In our medical leech farm, we produce Hirudo Verbana in natural conditions. Produced leeches are mostly used in our clinics and sold inside of Turkey. We are also available for exportation.
– Phlebotomy (intervention on a vessel to destroy the clot contained)
– Reflex stimulation
– Bioactive Secretion Contents
Leeches are capable of wet cupping/hijama in medicinal sense as they suck blood. This application also possesses the stimulating effects or acupuncture since the acupuncture points are used in practice. However, the most significant therapeutical effect of leech therapy is hidden in the secretion administered to the body during the suction of blood. This secretion contains more than 100 bioactive substances with effects including the prevention of blood clotting (anti-aggregants), dissolving the formed clots (fibrinolytic), pain-killing (analgesic-antirheumatic), antimicrobial (antibacterial), balancing of the blood pressure (antihypertensive), muscle relaxing (myorelaxant), immune modulation, and anxiolytic effects. Furthermore, it accelerates the repair of nerve cells and fibers through its “neurotrophic” effect.
Above all, leech therapy and all other natural treatment methods have a direct impact on human health since it is a treatment method for the human body. In this sense, care should be taken to ensure that these treatments are carried out by doctors or health care personnel with medical training, and in this case under the supervision of a physician.
The individual who will receive the therapy must be approved by a doctor. The individual who will receive the therapy must have a normal or higher-than-normal blood pressure, s/he must have no diseases that could prevent application, and must not currently taking anticoagulants.
No fragrant products such as lotions, crèmes, or perfumes must have been applied onto the body before the leech therapy.
The blood pressure should be normal before the application.
The material to be used and the environment must comply with the hygiene requirements.
The leech to be used must be a medical leech and also be sterilized before use with ozonized water or a hydrogen peroxide solution.
The best method is to apply to the acupuncture points according to the patient's complaints. During use, the leeches shall not be touched by the hand, but a toothless clip has to be used. You can use a lab tube or a syringe to apply to the acupuncture points.
Potentially hazardous areas include:
- Soft skin parts (such as around the eyelids),
- Keratinized areas (such as palms and soles),
- Over the vasculature (like neck, lower chin, forearm, step).
The leech must be kept on the treatment area for about 45 minutes after it holds onto the skin. The Leech must not be forced away, if it had not fallen off by itself. You can make it smell some alcohol or eau de cologne on a cotton wool by putting it beside the leech. The subsequent bleeding should be done for a few minutes without tampon. Thereafter, a dressing with a tampon application is firmly applied. Compressive dressing must be left in place for 8 hours and can be removed after 8 hours. Before opening after these 8 hours, it is appropriate to apply ice 5-10 minutes before opening the tampon. If a treatment region is concerned, in which the bleeding is continued after opening the tampon, a dressing / tampon should be used.
The leech used must be destroyed within alcohol within a separate bottle or jar (Each leech should only be used once).
There may be an itching in the areas where the leech has been applied. However, since itching with hand can lead to infection, it is most natural method to apply lemon and wait until the itching has evaporated. You can apply lemon every time when the area itches. Antihistaminic pomades (Like Stilex, Avil,etc) can be applied in case if the lemon has no effect at all.
The most common side effect after leech treatment is an allergic reaction. This can be in the form of swelling, redness, extreme itching, and even blushing. It is not an alarming condition. The therapy should be interrupted for some while. We also recommend the use of ice, the use of allergy tablets and the consultation with the doctor in charge.
By using leeches, the reasons for an infection may be that the leeches were not purchased from a trusted source and/or the application environment / material condition was not hygienic. There are no other known adverse effects of leech application if the person who will receive the leech therapy is applied is classified by the physician as appropriate for the therapy.
You can keep the leeches in a glass bottle by adding 75% chlorine-free water (distilled water or natural spring water) to a 1 liter glass bottle and storing a maximum of 20 to 30 leeches.
Leeches can pass through very small holes as they are invertebrates. Therefore, cover the opening of the bottle with gauze (hosiery will also do) with no holes and firmly fix it using a rubber strip. Do not use caps to cover the jar in order not to suffocate the leeches.
Change water every day. You can leave the leeches in the tulle while you change the water.
Do not expose leeches to sunlight. They can remain in room temperature. Temperature of water must be between 10 to 22 degrees preferably. Keep them at a height outside the reach of children.
Never place the used leech beside other leeches. Destroy the used leech in a separate jar containing alcohol and do not use it again.