To most, leeching sounds like an ancient treatment. It may also sound scary if you’re on the squeamish side! Yet, medicinal leech therapy has actually been making a comeback. This age-old remedy actually holds a lot of scientific merits.
Leeches are most useful for microsurgery, an operation that reconnects tiny veins and arteries. Examples include rejoining amputated body parts or plastic surgery. Complications usually involve the veins, since arteries can heal quickly on their own.1
After surgery, veins are prone to problems like clotting or thrombosis. They also take a long time to heal and might even die from blood clots.
However, thanks to these five benefits, leeches can speed up recovery.
5 Health Benefits Of Medicinal Leech Therapy
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1. Improves Blood Flow
After surgery, “used” venous blood has a hard time returning
Leeches help by sucking out the old blood. This makes room for new blood which lowers the risk for complications.2
Even after the leeches are removed, blood continues to ooze out because of the sucking. It ensures that every last drop of the used blood is removed.
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2. Recovers Vein
Compared to arteries, veins take a long time to heal. But when leeches feed on old blood, the veins don’t have to deal with it. There’s also a reduced risk of clots. Therefore, veins are less stressed, helping them heal properly and completely.3
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3. Thins The Blood
Leech saliva contains anticoagulants or blood thinners.4 This also encourages blood to ooze out after the therapy is done. It can last up to 48 hours, helping the old blood get out of your system.
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4. Acts As Anesthetic
When they bite, leeches numb the area. And when you’ve just had surgery, this is a good thing! The secretions double as a natural anesthetic, helping your wound feel more comfortable while it heals.5
This numbing action will also help if you’re bothered by the feeling of a leech.
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5. Heals Faster
Because of all these positive
Your doctor will choose the best spot for the leeches. A nurse will attach them with sugar water or a drop of fresh blood from a needle poke. It should not hurt when the leeches latch on. After all, they release an anesthetic.
The leeches will suck on your blood anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes. Once they’re done, they will automatically fall off. The nurse will take the leeches away since they cannot be reused. Never try to remove a leech while it is feeding.7
If your doctor suggests leeching, keep an open mind. This method is totally natural and invasive. You will also limit