Our Dr. Suat Arusan Medical Leech Production Facility is located in Manisa Province, Şehzadeler District, Yeni Harmandalı Quarter and established on a land of 10 hectares with nurturing pool (production pool) of 3000 sq. m., and a closed area (growth/ tank area) of 1000 sq. m. Our production capacity is one ton annually.

The kind of medicinal leeches that are produced is the Hirudo verbana. Leeches lay eggs 3 to 4 times in a year (Ambient temperature is important). The avarege period for Larvae hatch from egg is within 30 days. Nearly 35% of the larvae do not survive. The young leeches must be separated from parents for feeding. This feeding is made with natural foods like frogs or fishes. The period for young leeches to reach the suitable size for use is within 5 to 6 months. Feeding should be done at least 45 days before use.

Leeches are cleaned with hydrogen peroxide before they are sold. The leeches are kept in ozonized water for one day, before used for treatment in our clinic. Each leech is used for only once and only for one patient, and then it is disposed together with medical waste and delivered to relevant organizations together with a waste delivery form. If leeches need to be stored for a while before treatment, it must be ensured that the water used for their storage does not contain chlorine. Used water must be a natural spring water / ground water with high pH or distilled water.


  • Production area : Pool/Tank
  • Pool type : Natural earth pool
  • Total pool area : 3000 sq. m.
  • Water requirement : Minimum 10 L / s
  • Water source : Natural water source (drilled)
  • Water depth : 5 – 30 cm
  • Density of parent stock : 12 -14 sq. m./ parent/ period
  • Density of production stock : 160 – 180 sq. m./ individual/ period
  • Annual number of production periods : 2 – 4
  • Exchange rate for pool water : Total water surface/ 24 hours
  • Growth period : 4 – 8 months
  • Water temperature for sustaining life : Min: 1 degrees C/ Max : 40 degrees C
  • Optimal water temperature for reproduction : 20 – 25 degrees C
  • Water temperature for growth : 20 – 25 degrees C
  • pH : 7 – 8,3
  • Minimum oxygen demand : 3 mg / L


Numerous species of leeches are found throughout the world. The kind of leeches used specifically in medicine is Hirudo medicinalis and Hirudo verbana.  H. verbena is more abundant in our country. The medical leech species that we are producing is Hirudo verbana.

Hirudo verbena carries bright green, yellow, black and red colors on its body.

In the middle of the dorsal, there is a broad band consisting of a single dark-greenish-brown color.

On the ventral part,  there are two dark-colored bands on a yellowish-green background which are located more laterally.

Our country is the natural homeland for medical leeches so Turkey is the most important medical leeches exporting country in the world. Medical leech treatment was defined by the Ordinance on Traditional and Complementary Treatments, adopted in 2014 by Ministery of Health, as one of the natural treatment methods. Due to the increasing use of leeches and the fact that the production is insufficient, the export rate has been reduced from 10 tons to 2 tons in 1996. The medical leech has been protected by the CITES treaty against the danger of the extinction of generations.

Previously, the hunting period for medical leeches was for 2 months, but now it has been increased to four months, from 1st March to  1st July.