Leeching: A historical procedure in medicine
Leeching, the application of a living leech to the skin in order to initiate blood flow or deplete blood from a localized area of the body.

The species of leech most commonly used for this purpose is the European medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis. The medicinal leech has proved useful in medicine because of its peculiar mouthparts and the pharmacologically active substances present in its saliva.

The saliva of the leech contains substances that anesthetize the wound area and dilate blood vessels to increase blood flow to the site of the bite. Leech saliva also contains hirudin, an enzyme that inhibits the actions of thrombin (facilitates blood clotting).


• The Greco-Roman physician Galen (AD 129–c. 216) advocated the bleeding of patients with leeches, a practice that persisted in various parts of the world for many centuries.
• Throughout most of Western history, leeching—or leechcraft—became such a common practice that a physician was commonly referred to as a “leech.”
• Toward the beginning of the 19th century, a “leech mania” swept through Europe and America, as leeching became incorporated into the practice of bloodletting.
• Many patients regularly submitted to various bloodletting practices as a means of preventing or treating infection and disease.


• Surgeons occasionally use leeches to restore blood flow to areas of damaged veins after an appendage has been reattached or a tissue grafted.
• A single leech feeds for approximately 30 minutes, during which time it ingests about 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of blood.
• After becoming fully engorged, the leech detaches naturally, and the appendage continues to bleed for an average of 10 hours, resulting in a blood loss of about 120 grams.
• When bleeding has almost ceased, another leech is applied to the appendage, and the process continues until the body has had time to reestablish its own working circulation network—usually within three to five days.

On rare occasions, a patient may develop an infection from microorganisms that live in the leech gut. This appears to happen only when circulation through the arteries is insufficient.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/science/leeching
Dr. S●●●●y M●●●●●●●●i and 22 others like this3 shares
Dr. T R P●●●●d
Dr. T R P●●●●d General Medicine
It is Sushruta a great surgeon from India who used this first, and followed till today.
May 14, 2020Like7
Dr. a●i k●●●i
Dr. a●i k●●●i Ayurvedic Medicine
And In India we the Ayurvedic physicians are still using this leech therapy in to treat and prevent many diseases like DVT ,Psoriasis,burgers disease and many skin conditions and many more .
May 14, 2020Like7
A●●●●●●●u s●●●●●●e
a●●●●●●●u s●●●●●●e Ayurvedic Medicine
In Ayurveda sushrut clearly mentioned about that in sushrut sanhita detailed explained is there in sushrut sutra sthan 14 , and currently it us used widely this therapy is called as jalukaavcharan and it cure many of diseases, and it mentioned in 1000-1500 B. C
May 14, 2020Like3