LEECHES

american hirudo therapy

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American HirudoTherapy “specializes in use of medical leeches who have the ability to improve the efficiency of the organism before the planned increased physical or intellectual activities.

Comprehensive, always individually planned therapies, serve the renewal of vitality for improvement cardio-vascular endurance and detoxification, maintaining the welfare and inhibition the aging process.

The leeches release a variety of enzymes. These special enzymes cause instant rejuvenation. One will also notice the skin becomes more flexible and bright as a result of exposure to these enzymes.

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The history of medicinal leech therapy has been a long and tortuous one. Throughout the millennia, the therapeutic benefits of leeches were known and were used by different civilizations; the Egyptians used leeches to cure fevers while the Ayuverdic Indians used leeches to cure musculoskeletal pains.

In the 19th century, however, leech therapy fell into disrepute after centuries of what can only be described as leech-mania. Diseases were believed to be caused by an imbalance of the humors and consequently almost all diseases were treated by bloodletting using leeches. This practice of leech therapy lost its popularity and appeal with the discovery of the cell and the germ theory of disease.

Today, a new dawn for medicinal leech therapy in modern medicine has come, with modern research providing irrefutable evidence showing that proteins secreted in a leech’s saliva are beneficial therapeutically.

The Face of Modern Medicinal Leech Therapy

Modern medicine is Evidence based, and the revival of medicinal leech therapy had to be backed by some compelling evidence. Studies have shown that of the 600 species of leeches in the world, only 15 of these have any medicinal benefit. The most commonly used type is hirudo medicinalis (i.e. hirudotherapy).
Medicinal leeches have been shown to have these beneficial properties;

♦Double Edged Anti-coagulation -For a clot to be formed in the body, blood has to be coagulated in two phases. Leeches release two main proteins which attack each phase of coagulation. Cialin prevents platelet aggregation, thus effectively stopping phase one of coagulation. Hirudin, on the other hand irreversibly binds thrombin, inhibiting the formation of a thrombus (clot) and stopping phase two of the coagulation cascade.
One of the most novel applications of this property is its use in microsurgery where leeches are used to prevent coagulation in microvasculature while reattaching organs like fingers, ears, toes etc.

♦A pain numbing bite- A leech’s bite is not painful; this is because proteins in the saliva block the sensory neurons on the skin that transmit the sense of pain. This effect has been particularly useful for treatment of chronic inflammatory ailments like osteoarthritis and Myasthenia Gravis.

♦Increase blood flow- Leeches achieve this in two ways, first they cause the blood vessels to dilate and second they breakdown any clots in the vessels that could block the flow of blood. These vasodilatory and fibrinolytic effects have made it particularly useful in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease.

♦Anti-inflammatory Effects- Leeches secrete compounds known as egllins and bdellins which inhibit the inflammatory response of the body. This has proved useful for conditions like thrombophlebitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Other Side of Leech Therapy

While research continues to show that there are proven benefits to leech therapy, most physicians continue to advocate the use of leech therapy as a complementary form of medicine rather than a main stay form of treatment.

It is also not recommended for anyone on immunosuppressive drugs or with an immunosuppressive disease to practice leech therapy.

What does the future hold?

Leeches continue to inspire novel innovations in the medical world, for instance the creation of recombinant versions of the anticoagulant Hirudin and mechanical leeches for dispensing anticoagulants in surgery.

The future of medicinal leech therapy in modern medicine appears promising, with ongoing research trying to unravel more benefits from this simple and inexpensive form of therapy.

©  AMERICAN HIRUDOTHERAPY

 

health - american-hirudo-therapy - leech therapy

A New Dawn for Medicinal Leech Therapy

The history of medicinal leech therapy has been a long and tortuous one. Throughout the millennia, the therapeutic benefits of leeches were known and were used by different civilizations; the Egyptians used leeches to cure fevers while the Ayuverdic Indians used leeches to cure musculoskeletal pains.

In the 19th century, however, leech therapy fell into disrepute after centuries of what can only be described as leech-mania. Diseases were believed to be caused by an imbalance of the humors and consequently almost all diseases were treated by bloodletting using leeches. This practice of leech therapy lost its popularity and appeal with the discovery of the cell and the germ theory of disease.

Today, a new dawn for medicinal leech therapy in modern medicine has come, with modern research providing irrefutable evidence showing that proteins secreted in a leech’s saliva are beneficial therapeutically.

The Face of Modern Medicinal Leech Therapy

Modern medicine is Evidence based, and the revival of medicinal leech therapy had to be backed by some compelling evidence. Studies have shown that of the 600 species of leeches in the world, only 15 of these have any medicinal benefit. The most commonly used type is hirudo medicinalis (i.e. hirudotherapy).
Medicinal leeches have been shown to have these beneficial properties;

♦Double Edged Anti-coagulation -For a clot to be formed in the body, blood has to be coagulated in two phases. Leeches release two main proteins which attack each phase of coagulation. Cialin prevents platelet aggregation, thus effectively stopping phase one of coagulation. Hirudin, on the other hand irreversibly binds thrombin, inhibiting the formation of a thrombus (clot) and stopping phase two of the coagulation cascade.
One of the most novel applications of this property is its use in microsurgery where leeches are used to prevent coagulation in microvasculature while reattaching organs like fingers, ears, toes etc.

♦A pain numbing bite- A leech’s bite is not painful; this is because proteins in the saliva block the sensory neurons on the skin that transmit the sense of pain. This effect has been particularly useful for treatment of chronic inflammatory ailments like osteoarthritis and Myasthenia Gravis.

♦Increase blood flow- Leeches achieve this in two ways, first they cause the blood vessels to dilate and second they breakdown any clots in the vessels that could block the flow of blood. These vasodilatory and fibrinolytic effects have made it particularly useful in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease.

♦Anti-inflammatory Effects- Leeches secrete compounds known as egllins and bdellins which inhibit the inflammatory response of the body. This has proved useful for conditions like thrombophlebitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Other Side of Leech Therapy

While research continues to show that there are proven benefits to leech therapy, most physicians continue to advocate the use of leech therapy as a complementary form of medicine rather than a main stay form of treatment.

It is also not recommended for anyone on immunosuppressive drugs or with an immunosuppressive disease to practice leech therapy.

What does the future hold?

Leeches continue to inspire novel innovations in the medical world, for instance the creation of recombinant versions of the anticoagulant Hirudin and mechanical leeches for dispensing anticoagulants in surgery.

The future of medicinal leech therapy in modern medicine appears promising,with ongoing research trying to unravel more benefits from this simple and inexpensive form of therapy.

©  AMERICAN HIRUDOTHERAPY

 

american-hirudo-therapy - leech therapy

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