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Leech Therapy


The treatment with leeches is used in many different diseases. The out leading and regenerating procedures are originally from the Greek and Roman antics, but was used as well from traditional Indian and Arabian medicine. 

Many modern painkillers do contain extracts from Leeches.

Leeches are worms that belong to the phylum Annelida and the subclass Hirudinea. Leeches do not have bristles, their bodies are solid and they have two suckers, one at each end.  

In modern times, leeching is used as pain therapy, in reconstructive and plastic surgeries and in treating osteoarthritis. In operations such as reconstructive and plastic surgeries problematic venous congestion can arise due to inefficient venous drainage and leeches are applied to a congested flap. They consume a certain amount of excess blood, inject the protein hirudin before the leech falls away.

A leech therapy is way more than a pain therapy, it is a modern regeneration therapy, preventing in some cases even surgeries. Leeches contain an active anticoagulant component a small protein named "hirudin". The discovery and isolation of this protein hirudin led to a method of producing it. Today modern medicine uses recombinant hirudin as an intravenous anticoagulant preparation for injection.


At the Hyperthermia Centre Hannover recombined hirudin is only applied to patients who are allergic to leeches or cannot tolerate heparin. Depending on the indication 2-12 leeches are used. Very often one treatment only is necessary to reduce the symptoms.

Treatment with leeches activates the lymphatic system and lessens local widening of vessels spasms and work against inflammation.  

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