Indonesia's First and Only Legal Medicinal Leech Exporter With Registered and Certified Leech Farm

Asian Medicinal Leech - Hirudinaria manillensis

Medicinal Leech : Hirudinaria manillensis

Medicinal leech is a species of leech used for medical purposes. The world has about 650 species of leech, some are water leeches and some are land leeches. Among the 650 species, only 3 species can be used as medicinal leeches. They are Hirudo medicinalis from European regions, Hirudinaria manillensis from Asian regions, and Haementeria ghilianii from Amazon.

Medicinal Leech

Hirudinaria manillensis is in the same family with Hirudo. Both are hermaphrodite (have both male and female sex organs) creatures, posses the precious Hirudin, and both are for medicinal purposes. These leeches feed mainly on blood, but also like to eat worms, insect larvae, and other small forms of animal life.

The world's leech demand is increasing tremendously, expecially for medicinal purposes. That's why LeechForSale.com is here to provide leeches worldwide.

What Can Medicinal Leech Do?

examination

  • Saliva of leeches contains anti-inflammatorysubstances and other chemicals, which could relieve symptoms of arthritis.
  • Leeches are also used after surgery and other treatments involving the reattachment of skin flaps to reestablish blood flow and promote healing in skin flaps, doctors not only must reattach arteries to enable the oxygen-rich blood to flow into traumatized tissue, they should also make sure that blood flows through and out of the tissue into reconnected veins. With the use of plastic surgery, reattached skin flaps present a challenge in reestablishing blood flow. The doctors will placed leeches on areas where normal blood flow should be restored, the leeches will then suck blood from such tissue, restoring blood flow and promoting healing.
  • Leeches are still used sometimes to clear up the discoloration of black eyes.
  • Leech oil is known to the local community for enhancing the sex capability of man.
  • In India, it is used for preventing hair loss.
  • Leeches are used in plastic and reconstructive surgery worldwide.
  • Also for cosmetic purpose

Substances in Leech's Saliva

DSC00087_detail

1. Hirudin : enters the coagulant (gore) and helps it come out from the bite.
2. Anti infection ( penicillin ) : to prevent infection.
3. Calin : the substance located in gore which usually blocks the “von wilebrand factor”, and also functioning as mediator in blood-stucture aggregation process or platelet.

4. Destabilase : a monomerizing activity which is to solve vibrind ( the result of gore ).
5. Hirustasin : functioning as protein solven agent to improve digestion.
6. Bdellins : the chemical substance that can reduce skin inflammation, swollen skin, and itchy skin.
7. Hyaluronidase : an antibiotic to prevent infection.
8. Anesthetic Substance : the anesthetic for certain area in the body (local anesthetic).
9. Triptase Inhibitor : a substance produced in swollen or allergic area.

10. Egllins : the anti-swollen substance.
11. Xainhibitor factor : the anti-gore substance (anti-coagulant).
12. Complement Inhibitors : a substitute for any missing components.
13. Carboxypeptydase alnhibitors : blood-flow enhancer around the leech bite area.
14. Histamine-like substance : maximize the arteri tracts to help better blood flow.

Ethic in Using Medicinal Leech

  • Medicinal leeches will be used just once and then destroyed.
  • Medicinal leech therapy is painless because the leech makes its own numbing substance. This numbing substance is a natural way to keep you comfortable.

Customers' Testimonials

Hassan SalimiSarighieh - Holland

Mechanic

I am very glad I met you. You are very nice, kind and helpful to me. I want to thank very much through this testimonial.

Olga - USA

Clinical Research

Thank you Cecilia for perfect leeches, fast and safe delivery and all your support and teaching me how to use them. I have wonderful experience with you and a video you create for me. I learned a lot through this video and online communication with you. Thank you very much again and I will continue to deal with you for all my future orders.

Jin - South Korea

Manufacturer and Wholesaler of Compression Garment for Burnt, Live Leeches for Reconstruction Surgery, and Silicon Implant for Plastic Surgery

In my first purchase, I was disappointed of the quality of your leech, but I have to admit that you are a very persistent girl, and I have to thank you that because of your guidance all this long, now we are get used with your kids. In very near future, I will socialize the use of Hirudinaria, instead of Hirudo, to my customers here. Thank you for everything.

US-dollar-iconPrice is in USD Currency

Hirudinaria manillensis
Length
Price
Medium
2 - 2,5 inches
$ 1
Big
3 - 4 inches
$ 1.5
Leech Oil
20 ml
$ 20




* Minimum order 100 leeches. If your order reach 1,000 pieces, you will get a special discount :)

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1. Introduction to Leech Therapy



Leech Therapy is an adaptation of ancient medication. The Egyptian has used leeches for therapy since 2000 years ago. Leech can be used in various therapies such as : hand/leg/nerve pain, thrombosis, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol, uric acid, varicose veins, drugs addiction, pimples and blotches, menstruation pain, epilepsy, facial toning, calf slimming, heart diseases such as swollen heart, weak heart, leaky heart, the narrowing and the blockage of coronary arteries, etc.

The point of leech therapy is mostly to dilute the blood clotting. Gore dilution can reduce high blood pressure, improve blood flow, dissolve blood plaque, normalize the narrowing nerve tracts, decrease cholesterol level, improve the arteries flexibility, decrease nerve tension, reduce superoxide rate which is capable of damaging heart muscle tissue, and finally improve body immune system.

Leech Saliva is produced in the process of Leech Therapy. When the leeches start to suck blood, their saliva enters the patient blood. Leech saliva contains various useful natural chemical substances. Therefore, in 1-2 hours of the therapy, your blood will have mixed perfectly with these natural chemical substances :

1. Hirudin : enters the coagulant (gore) and helps it come out from the bite.

2. Anti infection ( penicillin ) : to prevent infection.

3. Calin : the substance located in gore which usually blocks the “von wilebrand factor”, and also functioning as mediator in blood-stucture aggregation process or platelet.

4. Destabilase : a monomerizing activity which is to solve vibrind ( the result of gore ).

5. Hirustasin : functioning as protein solven agent to improve digestion.

6. Bdellins : the chemical substance that can reduce skin inflammation, swollen skin, and itchy skin.

7. Hyaluronidase : an antibiotic to prevent infection.

8. Anesthetic Substance : the anesthetic for certain area in the body (local anesthetic).

9. Triptase Inhibitor : a substance produced in swollen or allergic area.

10. Egllins : the anti-swollen substance.

11. Xainhibitor factor : the anti-gore substance (anti-coagulant).

12. Complement Inhibitors : a substitute for any missing components.

13. Carboxypeptydase alnhibitors : blood-flow enhancer around the leech bite area.

14. Histamine-like substance : maximize the arteri tracts to help better blood flow.

Surgeons who do plastic and reconstructive surgery find leeches useful when regrafting amputated appendages. Leeches improve blood flow to help reattach tissues by sucking the blood till the vein reconnects.

Recent research also supports leech use in relieving pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, as well as in treating purpura fulminans, periorbital hematoma, sublingual hematoma, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ear infection.



2. What you should know about Leech



The leech is a freshwater amphibious worm, usually black or brown and about 10 cm in length. Of the more than 650 known species, Hirudo medicinalis (location : Europe), Hirudinaria manillensis (location : Asia) and Haementeria ghilianii (location : Amazon) are mostly used in medical therapy.

Leech is a blood-sucking worm. The adult leech is a hermaphrodite, meaning it has both male and female sex organs. Leeches reproduces by cross-fertilized eggs, it grows to the length of less than an inch (2.5cm) to 12inces (30cm) or more. Most leeches feed mainly on blood, but others eat worms, insect larvae, and other small forms of animal life.

Medicinal leech is cross barred with brown and black and grows to eight inches (20cm) in length. The medicinal leech has a sucker at each end of the underside of its body. The sucker at one end contains the animal's mouth. The other sucker acts as a suction cup when the leech attaches itself to its victim.

Once attached, the leech slashes its victim's skin with its sharp teeth and sucks the blood. The leech injects into the wound a substance that keep blood from clotting. A leech can ingest up to five times its weight in blood and then live up to 6 months without food. The mouth of the leech has three jaws, each of which has about 100 tiny teeth. It also has a posterior suction device for its stability.

The first medicinal leeches were obtained from streams and rivers, but today they're purchased from companies that function as leech farms. Facilities that don't have established protocols can follow the recommendations of these leech farms.

It's advised that leeches be stored at a cool temperature (42° to 45°F [5° to 7°C] and no higher than 68°F [20°C]) in "leech mobile homes" containing distilled water treated with a special salt; some recommend changing the solution every other day.



3. What you should know about Leech Therapy



leech-therapy

1. Medicinal leeches will be used just once and then destroyed.

2. Medicinal leech therapy is painless because the leech makes its own numbing substance. This numbing substance is a natural way to keep you comfortable.

3. Leech therapy can be applied to flaps, replanted fingers, ears, or traumatic injuries from rings that tear away skin and tissue.

4. The doctor decides where the leech is to be placed. Often this is an area that is bluish or bruised in color. Blood has pooled there because your body has not yet made small veins to carry the blood away.

5. Leech therapy can be applied for three to seven days until your body has made these veins.

6. The purposes of leech therapy are :

- Improve venous circulation when a new microvascular flap is at risk of failing due to venous congestion.

- Produce an adequate venous outflow from the tissue by adjusting the number of leech applications.



4. How to apply leech therapy - examination



examination

Leech therapy is experiencing a resurgence in health care today, primarily in plastic and reconstructive surgery as a treatment for venous congestion, which can threaten surgical outcomes.

Most nurses have had no formal training in administering the therapy or in maintaining the medical leech. Yet nurses may be expected to participate in this therapy in a variety of clinical settings and can use these guidelines for the safe and effective use of the leech in treatment.

Before leech therapy begins, a thorough assessment should be performed.

- The nurse should be able to differentiate between arterial insufficiency and venous congestion. In arterial insufficiency, the tissue is pale, turgid, and cool to the touch; capillary refill is either slow (longer than two seconds) or absent. The tissue in venous congestion will have a purple appearance and be engorged, taut, and warm to the touch. Capillary refill will be brisk and instantaneous (less than one second). Although leech therapy may alleviate venous congestion, it's contraindicated in the presence of arterial insufficiency.

- The nurse should also ask the patient whether she or he is taking vitamins, herbal supplements, or drugs; some may increase the risk of excessive bleeding or reduced immune response.

For example, large doses of vitamin E can prolong prothrombin time, cause coagulopathy, and suppress immunity. Herbal supplements such as dong quai, garlic, ginger, gingko biloba, and ginseng and medications such as aspirin, heparin, warfarin, and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may increase the risk of hemorrhage. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, some sodas, and chocolate) must be eliminated in order to decrease the risk of vasoconstriction. Smoking (and even exposure to secondhand smoke) is absolutely contraindicated because the carbon monoxide and nicotine in tobacco are potent vasoconstrictors.

- Contraindications. Leech therapy should not be used in patients who are immunocompromised, those with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, and those with preexisting arterial insufficiency; all of these conditions pose an extreme risk of infection or excessive blood loss. A patient's refusal to accept blood transfusions is another contraindication, as is unstable medical status. And of course, patients who refuse leech therapy should not receive it.

- Patient education. Few patients are willing to have contact with leeches without understanding the benefits of treatment. This obstacle is usually overcome with education.



5. How to apply leech therapy - preparation



preparation

These are few things to notice in preparing the leech :

- the number of leeches to be applied

- the specific placement of the leech or leeches

- the frequency of the therapy

In addition, orders often include antithrombotics such as aspirin, heparin, or low-molecular-weight dextran (dextran 40; Rheomacrodex and others) to decrease the risk of venous thrombosis. The physician may also prescribe chlorpromazine (Thorazine) for its specific vasodilating effect on small blood vessels.



6. How to apply leech therapy - attachment and encouraging attachment



attachmentAttaching the leech

- Before attaching the leech, wash the area with soap and water and rinse it with distilled, nonchlorinated water.

- Wearing gloves, gently grasp one leech. Using forceps may hurt the leech. It's helpful to have a small, dry gauze pad in the nondominant hand because the leech may attach itself to a wet glove and can be difficult to remove because it is wet; dry gauze allows you to gently grip the leech and pull it off the glove and direct the head toward the therapy site.

Encouraging the attachment

There are several ways to encourage leech attachment.

- First, use a syringe to direct the leech to the site. Remove the plunger from a 5- or 10-mL syringe, place the leech in the barrel, and invert the barrel, holding the open end in place until the leech attaches. The head, the smallest part of the leech, should attach first. Gently withdraw the syringe, allowing the other end of the leech to come free and attach. Leeches usually attach with both ends placed closely together in a U shape. If the leech resists attaching, encourage it by placing a drop of glucose or sucrose at the desired site. Leeches are attracted to the sweet taste.

- Or second way, gently prick the patient's skin with a sterile needle at the desired site so that a drop of fresh blood appears.

Note :

- Leeches can move from the desired treatment site to another, an action often called "leech migration". One of the simplest ways to prevent migration is to wrap the treatment area with gauze and leave only the desired attachment site exposed-creating a sort of "leech corral." A clear, occlusive dressing (such as those used to cover IV insertion sites) can also be used to cover the area, with a small hole cut in the center that is large enough to allow the leech to attach.

- A plastic cup is another solution. The cup can be used in two ways; in both a hole large enough for the leech to have access to the site of attachment is cut into the base of a clear plastic cup. For digits with venous congestion, a slit is cut up the side of the cup and it is placed around the gauze-wrapped digit. For flaps, the cup is placed over the desired site and covered with transparent stretch film secured with strips of tape. The leeches will attach to the flap through the hole.



7. Monitoring Leech Therapy

monitoring Monitor the site at least every 15 minutes to check for detachment and ensure that the leech hasn't migrated. If the latter does occur, don't forcibly remove the leech. Force could cause the teeth to be left in the patient, becoming a source of infection. Instead, put a small amount of alcohol, saline, or vinegar on a pad or a cotton swab and stroke the head of the leech. This will usually cause spontaneous detachment.

Be careful to use only minimal amounts of these liquids, however, because they're noxious to the leech, and large amounts may cause it to regurgitate into the bite site, increasing the risk of infection.

During leech therapy, it's common to measure and record skin temperatures every three hours, with the goal of keeping the temperature of the area at or above 86°F (30°C).

A reduction in temperature below 86°F may indicate problems with either arterial or venous circulation and should be reported immediately to the physician.

Keeping the room temperature slightly warm and the surrounding area wrapped lightly in gauze and a light blanket can also help in maintaining the desired therapeutic temperature.

These coverings should not be tight enough to restrict circulation and are usually removed only during assessment or while measuring temperatures or changing dressings.

The nurse should perform a detailed evaluation of the site at least every four hours, assessing the appearance of the patient's skin for signs or symptoms of infection and checking nearby pulses. Baseline laboratory values should also be checked, including a complete blood count, partial thromboplastin time, and prothrombin time. The physician should be notified of abnormal values such as a drop in the hemoglobin level or hematocrit, increased bleeding times, or changes consistent with infection or risk of infection.



8. The leech detachment and disposal



leech detachment

The leech detach

Satiated leeches usually detach spontaneously between 20 to 120 minutes. Generally, a single leech will extract 5 to 15 mL of blood during each attachment. The greater benefit of leech therapy is the blood loss after the detachment, because of the slow oozing at the site of the bite.

Leech disposal

After use, the leech should be destroyed by placing it in 70% alcohol solution. Many nurses use a small plastic cup with a screw-on lid, such as a urine specimen container, with 20 mL of alcohol. The leech dies within 10 minutes and is then treated as biohazardous waste, disposed of in an appropriate waste receptacle.

Because of the risk of blood-borne infection, the leech should never be reused on another person. It is also not to be reused on the same patient, for after feeding, leeches usually don't want to feed again for several weeks.

Note : During therapy, remember to document the estimated blood loss; the appearance of the site before and after leech application; the time, location, and duration of each leech application; any significant hematologic laboratory results; patient education and the patient's response to therapy; and the presence of signs or symptoms of infection.



9. Leech Therapy Frequency

frequency You may keep asking this question :

For how long leech therapy is needed?

Well, no specific period is decided for a complete healing. However, this may be the best answer for your smart question :)

Leech therapy is commonly required for three to seven days, or until angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) occurs. Success will be evidenced by changes in the tissue-it will change from a purplish hue to a more normal skin color, from engorged to nonengorged, and from a very fast capillary refill (less than one second) to a more normal one (one to two seconds). Once angiogenesis is established, the tissue will have sufficient venous drainage and no longer require therapy. As long as venous congestion persists between leech applications, therapy should continue.



10. Complications and Infections

infectionsCOMPLICATIONS - Excessive bleeding can occur with leech therapy; it can be controlled by applying direct pressure or topical thrombin.

Excessive blood loss may necessitate blood transfusion, so patients should be informed of the possibility. Allergic responses, including anaphylaxis, can also occur. Patients and their families should be alerted to watch for and report allergy symptoms. Scarring may also occur but is usually minimal.

Infection - The most serious complication of leech therapy is infection. The leech's digestive system contains Aeromonas hydrophila, a Gram-negative bacillus that enables the breakdown of ingested blood. Although most infections involving leech therapy are caused by A. hydrophila, infections with Serratia marcescens, A. sobria, and Vibrio fluvialis have also been reported. Infections can arise from two to 11 days after therapy begins and can result in abscesses and cellulitis, which can progress in some cases to sepsis.

A study found that infections arose in 4.1% of patients who received leech therapy. Prophylactic antibiotics are usually given: double coverage (two antibiotics) during therapy and single coverage (one antibiotic) for two weeks afterward. Established infection is treated with antibiotics such as third-generation cephalosporins, along with aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, tetracycline, or trimethoprim. Because infection is a serious adverse effect of leech therapy, the patient and family should also be instructed to observe for and report early signs and symptoms.



11. Leech Therapy for Baldness

BaldnessBaldness or alopecia is a very common condition where an individual loses hair. Hair loss can occur in various parts of the body, but the most common area is the scalp. Men are generally affected more but women can also suffer from this condition, often causing embarrassment.

What are the Causes of Alopecia?



Individuals who have parents suffering from this condition will likely develop alopecia in the future. It has also been suggested that autoimmune diseases can cause alopecia, where hair follicles are being attacked by the body, causing suppression of growth. The body sends signals for T-cell lymphocytes to attach themselves to hair follicles, causing inflammation on the site and thereby suppressing hair growth.

Another very common cause of alopecia is a fungal infection of the scalp or dandruff, resulting in weakened hair follicles and subsequent hair loss. It has also been found that stress can cause some people to develop hair loss or alopecia.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia?



The most obvious first symptom of alopecia is the appearance of thinning patches on the scalp or other areas of the body where hairs tend to grow, which can often be accompanied by a painful tingling sensation.

Another sign of alopecia is what's commonly known as "exclamation-point characteristics" of hair strands; in other words, hair strands that are distinctly narrower the closer they are to the base.

How can Leech Therapy Help People With Alopecia?

Leech therapy is known to increase blood circulation, therefore when therapy is applied to thinning or bald areas, the increase of blood circulation helps enhance the concentration and delivery of nutrients that assist in making hair follicles strong, thereby assisting in the promotion of hair growth.

People suffering alopecia caused by fungal infections or dandruff can also benefit through the antibacterial component in the leeches saliva, which helps combat fungal infections.



12. Leech Therapy for Diabetes

diabetesToday, Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the world. Millions of people have been diagnosed with Diabetes and everyday, thousands more become part of this statistic.

Diabetes is a condition caused by the pancreas's failure to produce enough insulin. The difference between type 1 and type 2 is the degree of insulin depletion. In type 1 diabetes, the onset is usually early in childhood, where there is absolute depletion of insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the onset is usually in adulthood around the age of 45 or older; where insulin production occurs, but an insufficient amount of insulin is produced.

When we eat, sugar turns into glucose and enters our bloodstream and is distributed to our body cells. Glucose is the "food" that gives our cells energy to function and insulin is crucial for breaking down glucose into the form that our cells can use. Without insulin or with too little insulin, glucose will not be absorbed by our cells, and they in turn will have no or little energy.

In the above situation, glucose remains in the blood causing it to thicken, which can create complications in the body. Transporting blood from one organ to another requires more effort, resulting in the vessel walls thickening and becoming less flexible. The heart also becomes overworked with the effort required to pump blood around the body and of course, thickened blood struggles to pass through capillaries, let alone the smaller blood vessels. This alone compromises the blood supply to distal organs, let alone the fact that viscous blood can predispose a patient to develop blood clots, which can travel to major organs like the brain, heart and lungs causing a stroke, heart attack or lung embolism.

Leech Therapy: An Ancient Science

Leech Therapy, also known as Hirudotherapy, is the treatment using medical leeches to assist various diseases. It is a therapy known since ancient times and remains very much in use today.

Hirudo Medicinalis is a species of leech used for medical applications, which are able to consume up to 15 ml of blood, therefore, therapists can use up to 12 leeches simultaneously or more, depending on the type of disease treated. When leeches bite, they inject their saliva into the wound. Their saliva contains enzymes, different chemicals and substances that bring about diverse therapeutic benefits for the patient.

Therapeutic Benefits for Diabetics

One of the most important substances recognised in leech salivary glands is Hirudin, a substance that suppresses the blood clotting mechanism. If you remember, it was mentioned earlier that Diabetes patients have viscous [thick] blood, which creates a higher risk of developing blood clots. Development and dislodgment of clots into the general circulation poses serious threats to anyone and can cause instant death, so the suppression of blood clotting is essential.

Hirudin also has a blood diluting effect, so apart from preventing blood clots; it also thins the blood, allowing the blood to circulate more easily, relieving pressure on the heart and blood vessels.



13. Leech Therapy for Eye Diseases

eye diseasesPreventing Eye Inflammation

Another area where leech therapy can be beneficial is eye inflammation. Chorioretinitis (an inflammation of the choroid and retina of the eye), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of one or both eyes), Keratitis (a condition in which the eye's cornea, the front part of the eye, becomes inflamed) and scleritis (a serious inflammatory disease that affects the white outer coating of the eye, known as the sclera) are just some of eye inflammation disorders.

Eye inflammations are inclined to have blood and other blood components pool in the affected area. This is the body's natural response, where it is attempting to fix whatever is wrong or damage in that area. Unfortunately, the pooling of too much blood causes significant change in the pressure inside the eye and this pressure causes compression and damage to other parts. During Leech Therapy, blood is sucked out, thereby reducing inflammation. This leads to a reduction in pressure and lessens post-inflammatory complications.

Prevent Progress of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that occurs when there is too much production of vitreous humor or when there is a very slow reabsorption of vitreous humor. Vitreous humor is a transparent, jelly-like substance that gives nourishment to the eyes. Too much of it however, can be problematic, where the intra-ocular pressure can increase, causing compression of the eye structures. This causes gradual blurring of vision and slow but certain loss of sight.

Those at risk of developing glaucoma include diabetics, people over the age of 40, and people with a family history of the disease. If detected and treated in its early stages, glaucoma can be controlled and vision can be saved. Leech Therapy can assist in the progression of this disease.

The use of leeches to lessen the rate of blood flow to the eye lessens the production of vitreous humor and thus lessens the pressure inside the eye. Leech therapy can therefore help patients with glaucoma if this procedure is done in regular and frequent intervals and in conjunction with medicines that Ophthalmologists [medical eye specialists] prescribe to lessen the production of vitreous humor and lower the overall blood pressure in the area.

Leech Therapy for Periorbital Hematoma

One of the major features of leech therapy is the ability of leeches to extract pooled blood. It also has an anti-edematous effect, which is especially helpful as a conservative measure to evacuate pooled blood as in the case of a periorbital hematoma. Periorbital hematoma is hematoma around the eyes, a sac of blood that the body creates to keep internal bleeding to a minimum. In most cases the sac of blood eventually dissolves; however, in some cases they may continue to grow or show no change. If the sac of blood does not disappear, then it may need to be surgically removed. It usually occurs after a large amount of pressure or force has been applied to the area and something that is definitely common among boxers. This is shown by a bluish green discoloration around the eyes, more popularly known as the ‘black eye.’ Disappearance of pooled blood in this area is particularly slow and can take from several days to a few weeks. Not only is it unsightly, but can cause light-headedness and headaches. Leech Therapy can be used to immediately evacuate the pooled blood around the eyes so the bluish-green discoloration can disappear after a mere couple of days.



14. Leech Therapy for Gum Diseases

gum_disease

Gum diseases are one of the most common problems suffered by all ages, especially if strict dental hygiene is not followed.

Factors Affecting Gum Diseases

One of the main factors that can increase the development of gum disease is bacterial growth. As stated above, poor dental hygiene leads to a buildup of plaque and tartar, promoting bacterial growth causing tooth decay, bad breath, infection of the gums etc.

People who have a low immune system are also at greater risk of developing gum diseases because the body is susceptible to infections.

Illness can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. Diabetes, for instance can worsen the condition of preexisting gum disease due to uncontrollable blood sugar levels and increased viscosity of the circulating blood, which hinders healing, so necessary agents (like nutrients) for the healing process to properly take place are not delivered to the infected and inflamed site.

Other factors that can lead to gum diseases are stresses and hormonal imbalances as well as medications that an individual takes.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Diseases



The most common indicator of gum diseases is gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Someone who has gingivitis will usually notice swelling in the gums, a bad taste in the mouth, bad breath and some bleeding of the gums. Further damage to the tissue is brought about by the bacteria’s production of enzymes and toxins, exposing the roots of the teeth or creating new cavities.

Medical Treatment of Gum Diseases

The most common treatment for gum disease is antibiotics, which treat the infection caused by the bacteria. Anti-inflammatory medications are also prescribed to decrease inflammation and swelling. The next course of action is scaling and the removal of plaque.

Leech Therapy for Gum Diseases

Leeches are known to produce many beneficial enzymes and have been used for many years to effectively treat gum disease and promote healing. Anticoagulation agents increase blood flow in the gums, helping to flush away toxins and allow delivery of nutrients to the affected area. These anticoagulation agents also work wonders in dissolving blood clots that can form in the gums.

Other beneficial components are anti-inflammatory agents, which decrease swelling and inflammation of the gums. The saliva of the leech also contains antibacterial components that assist in reducing bacterial growth.



15. Leech Therapy for Hearing Problems

leech therapy for earsLeech therapy can help cure the three most common ear and hearing problems - Sudden Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Otitis Media.

Sudden hearing loss happens immediately as the name indicates. This condition can take place over a period of a few hours or a few days and although there are a few known causes such as a vascular problem or an immune system problem, the most common cause is unknown.

Tinnitus is often described as a ringing or a swishing sound in the ears. It can be caused by an infection, an inner ear disease, side effects from medications or exposure to sudden and very loud noise.

Otitis media or infection of the middle ear is the most common ear problem, not only in children but in adults as well. Fluid buildup, inflammation, or swelling posterior to the eardrum brought about by a bacterial or a viral infection has occurred. It's known that colds and respiratory problems can also cause Otitis Media.

hearing problemsHow can Leech Therapy Help Ear and Hearing Problems

People suffering from the above mentioned ailments can greatly benefit from leech therapy, particularly when the ear and hearing problem is caused by an infection or a vascular problem.

Firstly, leeches secrete an anesthetic enzyme to desensitize the area and will then release beneficial enzymes and components into the bloodstream which will work to prevent the coagulation of blood and dissolve blood clots. Blood vessels will be dilated by the enzymes, bringing good circulation. Antibacterial enzymes will also be released to kill the bacteria that are causing the ear problem; these anti-bacterial agents will also boost the immune system and fight off further infection.



16. Leech Therapy for Heart Diseases

heart diseases Since the early days of the 20th century, people have been using leeches to treat cardiovascular diseases because of the Hirudin enzyme in the leeches saliva, a substance which has systemic anticoagulative effects.

A physician would usually prescribe the use of leeches when a person suffered a stroke or heart attack. Also, Hirudin stimulates segmental reflex mechanisms and this contributes to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Hirudin and Drugs

It was only when anticoagulants such as aspirin and heparin were invented that the use of leeches declined. The effects of aspirin which are the inhibition of platelet aggregation and for the dissolving of thrombus or embolus, or thrombolysis, were found to be much more effective in treating cardiovascular conditions. However, scientists began to investigate further uses of Hirudin for cardiovascular conditions and they found Recombinant Hirudin was useful for Myocardial Infarctions (MI) and unlike heparin; hirudin was actually a direct thrombin inhibitor which did not need to have a cofactor like antithrombin III. Also, hirudin could inactivate fibrin-bound thrombins. However, the effects of the drugs derived from hirudin were much too potent and caused quite massive hemorrhagic adverse effects. Because of this, hirudin was not considered a good primary treatment for myocardial infarction; however, they found that it was a good treatment for Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia Type 2.

Natural Leech Therapy

Natural leech therapy that is, the actual application of live leeches on the skin, was believed to have been an effective treatment for thrombosis and other coronary syndromes and Leeches have also been used to treat hypertension. Because leeches suck a hosts blood and its hirudin has anticoagulation, it may cause hypovolemic hemodilution which are two of the things that will reduce the pressure of the blood flow on the walls of the blood vessels, thus leading to reduction in blood pressure.

However, it should be noted that since there are much more effective treatments for the reduction of blood pressure, such as anti-hypertensive drugs, leech therapy is now mostly considered as an adjuvant therapy rather than an actual first-line treatment.

Application of Leech Therapy

Aside from those mentioned above, there are many conditions where leech therapy is considered useful. Leech therapy is sometimes used for Coronary Heart disease, where atheromatous plaques accumulate within the walls of the arteries that provide the blood supply for the myocardium.

It is also used for ischemic heart disease, where the blood supply to the heart is reduced. For this condition, leeches are applied to specific areas. During the first session, only about two to three leeches are used in each area, but as the treatment progresses, as many as 12 leeches can be used. During the first week, leech therapy can be applied every day if possible, leading to three times a week, over a course of approximately three to four weeks, depending on the individual.

For cardiovascular diseases, a minimum of three to four leeches can be applied to each specific area during the first session. Thereafter, up to 14 leeches can be applied. This treatment is usually applied three times a week for a total of ten applications, depending on the severity of the disease.

For Valvular heart diseases, again, leeches are placed in specific areas twice a week. Treatment is usually applied for a minimum of twelve sessions.

Leech therapy is effective against these diseases, including hypertension because of its ability to relieve the stagnation of the blood in the vessels. When a leech is applied over a certain area, the blood flow to that area will increase, leading to better circulation. In fact, there are several cases where the patient's overall wellbeing is improved after leech therapy and rejuvenation takes place.



17. Leech Therapy for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressureThe age bracket of individuals suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension is decreasing, which is quite alarming because it implies there are an increased number of younger people more at risk from suffering high blood pressure-related problems.

Taking into account today’s lifestyles, it isn’t surprising that an increasing number of younger individuals are suffering from hypertension.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition where an individual has an elevated blood pressure that exceeds the normal value of 120/80 mmHg.

Understanding High Blood Pressure

There are two kinds of hypertension – primary or essential hypertension and secondary hypertension.

Primary or essential hypertension means that the cause of the increased blood pressure is unknown, although family history can play a major role. If one or both parents suffer from high blood pressure, then you are at an increased risk of having elevated blood pressure.

Secondary hypertension is a condition where there is a known cause for the elevation in an individual’s blood pressure.

In understanding high blood pressure, it’s important to be familiar with systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure is the pressure that arteries generate when the muscles of the heart contract to pump blood to the arteries. Diastolic pressure on the other hand, is the pressure generated in the arteries as the muscles of the heart relaxes, which is why the diastolic pressure is lower than systolic pressure.

Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are many factors that cause high blood pressure. The most common is the lifestyle of an individual. Someone who eats too many fatty and salty foods, smokes a lot and/or consumes excess alcohol is at high risk of elevated blood pressure. People who are obese and have an inactive lifestyle are also at risk of developing hypertension. Stress, old age and family history are also contributing factors of hypertension. Diseases such as chronic kidney diseases and disorders of the thyroid and adrenal glands can also cause hypertension.

Leech Therapy for Hypertensive Patients

It’s known through various studies that the saliva of leeches contains many beneficial enzymes that can help lower blood pressure.

Anticoagulation enzymes found in leech’s saliva reduce coagulation tendencies of the blood, thus, promoting good blood flow to the body, as well as another enzyme that dissolves blood clots, so not only does it break up the blood clots, but it also prevents clots from traveling to other parts of the body, causing a noticeable reduction in both the systolic and diastolic pressures.

These enzymes prevent blood from becoming thick, thereby promoting better blood circulation not only in the heart but to other parts of the body and can be used with current antihypertensive medications.



18. Leech Therapy for Hepatitis

hepatitis

The liver is a very important organ, not only does it function to filter toxins from our body, but it also produces important enzymes, acts as a storage area for vitamins and nutrients and helps maintain balance.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis?



Signs and symptoms of hepatitis vary, depending upon the cause of liver inflammation. Some people experience flu-like symptoms, vomiting, nauseous or loss of appetite and diarrhea. General body weakness can be felt, as well as muscle aches or tenderness on the right side of the body underneath the ribcage. People suffering long-term hepatitis can have a distinct yellowing of the skin and eyes; in fact, there are many signs and symptoms, depending upon the kind of hepatitis.

What are Causes of Hepatitis?

There are many things that can cause hepatitis, but viruses are the most common. Viruses can be transmitted when an individual ingests contaminated food or water, undergoes an exchange of blood or when individuals have unprotected sex with an infected partner. Drug addicts who share needles with other addicts are also susceptible to hepatitis.

Aside from viruses that can cause hepatitis, alcoholics can also develop alcoholic hepatitis, where the liver becomes inflamed due to the excessive amount of consumed alcohol. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver caused by long-term alcohol consumption.

There are also a number of medications and drugs that can damage the liver when used over a long period of time, for example some antihypertensive drugs, antibiotics and antidepressants can cause some inflammation to the liver.

Leech therapy has been used in the treatment of many illnesses for thousands of years. A healthy blood supply is needed to fight off infection and inflammation in the liver and beneficial enzymes found in the saliva of leeches include anti-inflammatory enzymes which help reduce swelling as well as histamine-like enzymes that act to vasodilate the blood vessels, further enhancing blood flow. There are also antibacterial components in leech saliva that help fight disease.



19. Leech Therapy for Kidney Disease

kidney diseaseKidney diseases refer to a disease or injury to the kidneys that may arise from congenital or acquired causes.

Aside from the fact that there are individuals born with congenital kidney diseases, the major contributing factors of kidney diseases are diabetes and hypertension.

In hypertension, the kidneys become damaged over time as its blood vessels deteriorate due to elevated arterial pressures. If blood vessels of the kidneys are damaged, then its function to filter waste materials is also affected, in which case leaking of toxins and extra fluids occur.

Diabetes also affects the ability of the kidneys to filter toxins and waste materials because blood sugar levels that are highly elevated put an increased demand on the kidneys to filter an increased amount of blood. In the long run, this extra work damages the kidney's ability to filter.

Leech Therapy and Kidney Diseases

It has been found that leech therapy can significantly help individuals to have healthier kidneys.

Since kidneys can be damaged by the effects of diabetes, one of which is an increase in the viscosity of the blood, the enzymes found in leech's saliva (particularly the anticoagulation enzymes) can help prevent coagulation of the blood or thickening of the blood consistency.

Another important enzyme that reduces the stress on the filtering function of the kidneys is the enzymes that help dissolve blood clots. To promote good blood flow or circulation, blood vessels are dilated by the histamine-like enzymes.

All these enzymes work together to help the kidneys receive good blood circulation, thus, aiding the kidney to properly filter toxins and waste materials from the body.

If there is any inflammation of the kidneys that impedes its filtering action, leech therapy can prove to be beneficial through the anti-inflammatory compounds in the leech's saliva. Other benefits of leech therapy include the antibacterial effect that helps kidneys fight off infection.



20. Leech Therapy for Migraines

migraines There is a theory that suggests migraines are caused by tiny blood clots that are formed in the heart, which then travel to the brain and these blood clots disrupt the flow of blood to the brain and thus cause the typical symptoms of migraine like the one-sided head-ache, photophobia, and nausea.

As you may already know, there is a substance found in leeches called Hirudin. This substance is an anticoagulant, causing blood to become more diluted, thus allowing it to flow easier and faster. Hirudin can dissolve those little clots that have formed by converting fibrinogen to fibrin.

It is also known that leeches can increase the circulation in the body, even on the head, because it sucks just enough blood to get the blood stream flowing. Leeches can also cause vasodilation, meaning the vessels are widened, thus lowering the pressure on the walls of these vessels, improving blood flow.

Good blood circulation is vital! In a painful area, it is absolutely necessary, especially in places like the brain and using leeches instead of medications for migraines is healthier.

For one thing, medications can have serious side effects unlike leeches which, if handled properly, are relatively safe and have no prolonged adverse effects.

Drugs, especially strong pain relievers like narcotics, can be addictive, so they’re not advisable if possible. Frequent use of certain drugs may also cause dependence and an increase in tolerance, meaning the next time you’re in pain, you may need a higher dose and as you may be aware, higher dosages of drugs can be toxic for your body.

Another substance in leech saliva that is known to help relive migraines is a natural anesthetic that is released after attaching itself and can greatly relieve discomfort. If you’d rather have a leech on your head rather than a splitting headache, then perhaps leech therapy is the thing for you.



21. Leech Therapy for Osteoarthritis

osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis causes pain and disability to the patients. Leech saliva contains anti-inflammatory substances, therefore leech therapy is a promising therapy for osteoarthritis.

A trial has compared leech therapy with 28 days of topical diclofenac treatment. In the leech therapy trial, 4 to 6 leeches were attached to the affected knee. The result showed that patients with leech therapy had less pain through day 7 than those receiving diclofenac. The leech therapy group showed benefits in function, stiffness, and total arthritis symptoms through the 91 days of follow-up.

Leech Therapy and Arthritis

Our joints need synovial fluid to move freely and pain-free. The articular surfaces of bones making up a joint are lined with lubricating membranes. Small membrane sacs, or bursae, occur in the space between the bones of most joints. These membranes lining joints are known as synovial membranes because they secrete synovial lubricating fluid. People suffering arthritis have less synovial fluid, causing pain on movement. The edges of the bones as well as the cartilages also deteriorate, adding more tenderness to the already painful joint. This causes inflammation due to tissue damage and prolonged, untreated arthritis can lead to deformities.

How Can Leeches Help With Arthritis?

The leeches' saliva assists in the treatment of arthritis. There are many substances and compounds in their saliva that reduces inflammation in a joint, some of which are the compounds that are called bdelins and eglins, acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Aside from anti-inflammatory components, their saliva also has an anesthetic component that deadens the pain felt in the joint and also has a histamine-like substance that acts as a vasodilator. Acetylcholine, another component of the leech's saliva is also a vasodilator.

This is important in the treatment of arthritis because when the vessels dilate [expand], it increases the flow of blood, thus, washing away the compounds that cause pain and inflammation.

Frequency of Leech Therapy for Arthritis

All cases are individual, but on average, medicinal leech therapy is usually performed three times a week for approximately six weeks. Improvement in joint pain and inflammation will be noticed within the first few sessions. Not only is it a safe way to treat arthritis, but it has also been one of the cures for this disease for many years.



22. Leech Therapy for Skin Diseases

skin diseasesThe skin is the body's primary line of defense against infection. There are three common layers to the skin - Epidermis, Dermis and Hypodermis, composed of skin cells, capillaries, sweat glands, and hair follicles.

Common skin diseases often occur in the two uppermost layers, the epidermis and the dermis. Uncomplicated skin diseases are easily cured because the skin generally sheds after a couple of days, but more complicated skin diseases are rooted at the hypodermis level and these are more difficult to cure. Some skin diseases are rendered incurable and only subject to remission and exacerbation; that is, they remain idle on occasions and flare up from time to time.

Hirudotherapy to Treat Shingles

Shingles [Herpes Zoster] is a viral skin disease in adults and occurs due to reactivation in adulthood of dormant viral matter leftover from a bout of chickenpox in childhood. Although lifelong immunity to chickenpox is commonly spoken about, the viruses that cause it may lie dormant for years in sensory nerve cells, reactivating themselves and causing an attack of shingles at times when the immune system is weak, resulting in inflammation, pain, and a rash of small skin blisters.

The skin manifestation of herpes zoster is not serious, but the pain caused by the inflammation of the underlying nerve can be severe, lasting for weeks.

Treatment for Shingles is designed merely to limit the severity and duration of pain because there are usually post infection complications like neuralgia [chronic severe pain around a nerve path]. Leeches saliva contains a substance that has analgesic [pain killing] effects. Pain relief is known to be more powerful and longer lasting than general pain relieving tablets.

Hirudotherapy to Treat Boils

Boils are infections deep in the skin. A boil begins as a red area and gradually becomes tender and firm. An 'eye' forms at the center and contains yellow fluid called pus, which is composed of white blood cells, dead bacteria and proteins.

During leech therapy, leeches are placed directly over the eye of the boil, so they can feed directly on the pus and at the same time, other leeches will be placed around the area to rid the body of pooled blood. This is important, because pooled blood causes pressure, leading to tenderness and will relieve the patient of pain.

Hirudotherapy for Psoriasis

There are many skin diseases that can be treated with Hirudotherapy and one disease worth mentioning is Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin cells replace themselves too quickly. There are many different types, but the most common is chronic plaque psoriasis. Why psoriasis occurs is unknown, which makes it quite impossible to prevent. However, many things are thought to trigger the condition, including skin injury, sore throats/chest infections, some drug treatments, sunburn and even stress.

As hopeless as it all may sound, ancient doctors have been using Hirudotherapy to improve the outcome of skin diseases like psoriasis. Not only are leeches useful for sucking pooled blood, their saliva also contains active substances that are bactericidal [fights off bacteria that proliferates over thick layers of excess skin cells]. Other substances in the leech’s saliva also cause gradual slowing of skin cell production, giving noticeable relief for patients.