Leech therapy is the use of leeches in the treatment of disease conditions. Medicinal leeches are bloodsucking worms that they live in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Leech consists two “suckers”, one at each end. The back end sucker helps to attach its host; the front sucker contains the mouth with three sharp jaws that leave a Y – shaped bite.
The first practice of leech therapy is thought to have taken place in ancient India in 1000 BC. In ancient – medicine, the leech therapy was used to remove waste blood from a patient as part of a process to “balance the body fluids”.
When the micro-circulation of the body is disturbed, the whole body suffers. In our body red blood cells (R.B.C) carry oxygenated blood to all the tissues and organs. When red blood cells start to lose their flexibility or stick together, they can no longer get through the smaller vessels. Cellular exchanges of nutrition and waste disposal are disturbed and the body tissues are no longer oxygenated.
Leeches are used to treat a variety of ailments, including nervous system abnormalities, skin diseases, varicose veins, and infections. Leeches are secrete the peptides and proteins that work to prevent blood clots. This keeps blood flowing to wounds to help them heal. Leeches are effective at increasing blood circulation and breaking up blood clots. That they can be used to treat circulatory disorders and cardio vascular disease. And treatment for arthritis in leech as a natural process and feel similar to experiencing a mosquito bite as a leeches release a natural anaesthetic. The leeches have natural process that removes infected blood and that same time, release therapeutic components and enzyme to work in reducing inflammation and pain in the joint.
Leech salivary gland has many bio-active substances, which are given to the host in exchange for some blood taken. These include anti-coagulants, blood –thinners, vaso-dilators, antibiotics and histamine-like substances. Leech salivary glands also secrete lipolytic enzymes which break down fat, such as cholesterol, lipase, triglycerides. These enzymes work together against the aging process and prevent diseases like cardio vascular diseases because of the Hirudin enzyme in the leech’s saliva, as a substance which has a systemic anticoagulative effect.
Leech therapy helps to alopecia, when the therapy is applied to thinner or bald areas, increase of blood circulation helps enhance the concentration and delivery of nutrients that assist in the promotion of hair growth.
Hirudin is the bio-chemical substance that acts as anti- coagulant that leeches use to thin the blood to make it easier to extract from the host. After the leech has finished feeding, it is Hirudin that allows the wound to keep bleeding for a few hours. This is of benefit because the bleeding cleanses the wound from any bacteria. The bleeding also allows other turbid substances to leave the body with the blood, such as lymph fluid, inflammation, and toxins. It is hirudin an enzyme presents in the salivary secretion of the leeches, that’s works, an anti-coagulant, anaesthetic and also contains 65 amino acids. Nadipathy believes that leeches have the potential to become a future bio-compound of medicinal use.
NADIPATHY TREATMENTS BY USING LEECH:
ü Diabetic wounds
ü Varicose veins
ü Rheumatoid arthritis
ü Blood purification
ü Lymph nodes
ü Inflammatory reactions
ü Eye diseases
ü Ear problems
ü Throat problems
According to Nadipathy leech at first bite, only sucks impure blood from the skin and only the pure blood is left, so it is a blood purification therapy. Later it starts sucking pure blood, the patient feels pain. At Nadipathy we can do for leech therapy, in which leeches are collected from the places where the patient are from, because we believe that those leeches can only cure their diseases.
Leech saliva is also being tested as a possible treatment for cancer and for its potential to stop the spread of cancer cells.
Today most of the diseases are un- curable without by using of medicines and surgeries. There are no harmful side effects with leech therapy, which is a major reason for its current success.
In ayurveda leech therapy is called as RAKTHA MOKSHANA where many chronic
Ailments are treated by leech therapy.
Method of application:
· Purva karma: (before procedure)
1. Proper snehana (oleation) and swedana (sudation) of the patient.
2. Purification of leech by pouring the leech in water mixed with turmeric powder
3. Part preparation- cleaning of part of the body to which leech is going to be applied.
· Pradhana Karma: (main procedure)
1. Before application prick the skin with a sharp and sterile needle so that the drop of blood comes out and then apply the leech by wet cotton. It the leech is not ready to suck the blood from the body part, and then application honey or butter should be done.
Observation of leech:
1. Gradual destination in the central portion of the body.
2. Itching and burning sensation at the site of bite.
3. Pulsation on the body of leech may be visible.
Removal of leech:
After 30 – 50 minutes the leech is removed itself or by application of turmeric powder on the mouth of the leech.
Paschata karma: (after procedure)
Care of wound- after detachment of leech there is triangular wound created by mouth of the leech. The blood comes out from the wound. The bleeding from wound is checked by application of turmeric power. One leech should be reserved for one particular patient.
Precautions of leech therapy:
· Bleeding and clotting time of the patient should be normal
· Gentle handle of the leech
· Cover the leech with wet cotton.