|2. Leeching: The
application of a living leech to the skin to initiate blood flow or deplete
blood from a localized area of the body.
Historically, the leech has been used to treat a variety of ailments -- everything from headaches and stomach aches, fevers, and more.
Leeching was widely practiced in World War I to prevent coagulation of war wounds.
Leeching has been in use since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Leech therapy is making a big comeback in modern medicine. Leeches have been found to relieve pain and inflammation. It seems their saliva contains compounds that have an anesthetic effect.
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons currently depend on leeches to drain excess blood and prevent clotting after operations to re-attach severed fingers.
Formal Clearance by FDA
Despite its wide and growing use in modern medicine, it wasn't until
the first week in July, 2004, that the Food and Drug Administration, for
the first time, cleared the commercial marketing of leeches as medical
|Copyright 1998 - 2019 Glenn G. Geisheimer|