MEDICAL EFFECTS OF LEECHES

– 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.