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Benefits of leech therapy

In addition to medicine, many kinds of health therapy. One of them is traditional therapy that utilizes the natural surroundings.

In recent times health therapy using leeches has been widely discussed. Leech therapy is interesting because the health media used are leeches that are often considered as frightening animals.

Leeches often make people feel amused or disgusted when they see them. However, this animal is actually known to have various health benefits, namely through leech therapy.

Leech therapy has long been known, even before the days of modern medicine. Formerly leech therapy is believed to be able to overcome nervous system disorders, dental and skin problems, relieve pain, treat inflammation, and infection.




However, not just any leech that is used for therapy. Leeches used for treatment are types of Hirudo, namely Hirudo medicinalis, Hirudo troctina, Hippopotamus, Hirudo quinquestriata, Poecilobdella granulosa, Hirudinaria javanica, Hirudinaria manillensis, Haementeria officinalis, Hirudo orientalis, and Haementeria depression and those developed in special environments. The leech bite will leave a Y-shaped mark, which will heal without scars.

Benefits of Leech Therapy

Leeches are specifically used for treatment, generally saliva which contains more than 100 types of protein when sucking blood, although only a few have been proven to cure. This protein has medical effects, such as improving blood circulation, relieving pain, to anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

Helps prevent the aging process

Besides being believed to help speed up the healing process after plastic surgery, leech therapy is also used as an antiaging process because it has antioxidant properties. This can then make someone feel more refreshed. However, the effectiveness of the effects of leech therapy on aging-related diseases in general is still not widely studied clinically.

Promotes blood circulation and prevents blockages

Leech saliva is anticoagulant (prevents blood clotting) so the blood that is aspirated does not clot. Peptides and proteins released by leeches are also believed to prevent blockage of blood vessels.

There are many plastic surgery and micro surgery procedures that utilize leech therapy because of these two benefits. Leech therapy can maintain blood circulation to the site of the wound to help with the recovery process. Surgical procedures that use leech therapy, for example, a broken finger attachment surgery, and reconstructive surgery of the nose, lips, ears, or scalp. However, the effectiveness and safety of leech therapy as an anticoagulant still needs to be studied more deeply.

Helps prevent cardiovascular and blood vessel diseases

Leech therapy is known to be very effective in blood circulation while preventing blood vessel blockage, making leeches widely used to treat blood circulation disorders and cardiovascular disease. In addition, leech saliva is thought to have anti-pain, anti-inflammatory, and can dilate blood vessels.

Leech saliva is now widely used as a mixture of high blood pressure medications, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and skin disorders. This is due to the effect of protein on leeches that can prevent blockage of blood vessels, and help destroy blockages in blood vessels so that blood flow to the affected part is launched.

Relieve pain in people with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a joint disorder in which cartilage is damaged. When cartilage is damaged, friction between bones occurs so that the patient feels pain. Research shows that leech therapy reduces pain and stiffness felt by people with osteoarthritis.

The researchers suspect, leech saliva contains several anesthetic substances, which can help reduce pain. Anti-inflammatory properties of leech saliva also help reduce inflammation, so that joint swelling decreases.

Avoid complications in diabetics

Diabetes has a risk of complications, including blood vessel disorders that allow obstruction of blood to flow to the hands, feet, and fingers. This can cause tissue to die, which is one reason for amputation in diabetics.

Studies show that leech therapy can be useful in preventing this. Because leech therapy can improve blood circulation so that blood flow can reach tissue sites, without causing a risk of blockage. Researchers in a recent study revealed that four leeches in each therapy session can reduce the risk of amputation.

Consider the risks

Leech therapy is widely chosen because it is relatively easy to do and the risk of side effects is relatively small. However, leech therapy also has risks that must be considered both for medical therapy or for beauty procedures.

The first thing to pay attention to is the type of leech used. Even though it is called leech therapy, what is used is not wild leeches in the free environment. The leech used must be a special type of treatment Hirudo, stored in clean water that has been given chlorine, and must be in a temperature of 5-27 ° C. Then, the leech must also be protected from direct exposure to sunlight.

In addition, keep in mind that not everyone can undergo leech therapy. For those of you who experience the following conditions, you should avoid this therapy.

  • Have a blood clotting disease, such as hemophilia, so you are at risk of prolonged bleeding after leech therapy.
  • Have chronic anemia.
  • Allergies to leech proteins.
  • Has a weak immune system.

 

Leech therapy also has a risk of bacterial infection. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor about the use of leech therapy, including for beauty procedures, if interested, want to try it. Before utilizing leech therapy, ask the doctor first about its effectiveness and safety. Also make sure leech therapy is done by professional medical personnel.

Leech therapy may have various benefits, but do not rush to do it. Always consult with your doctor and choose the recommended therapy location.





References

References

Abdualkader, et al. NCBI. Leech Therapeutic Applications. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Rai, et al. NCBI. Efficacy of leech therapy in the management of osteoarthritis (Sandhivata). Ayu. 2011. Sig, et al. NCBI. Medicinal leech therapy—an overall perspective. Integrative Medicine Research. 2017.


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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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