Leech Therapy – What Are Its Health Benefits?

Used even from the ancient times, leech therapy has already proven its amazing health benefits. However, the development of science has led to an improvement of this kind of technique, and nowadays, we can benefit from hirudotherapy, which is medicinal leech therapy. In fact, more and more doctors approve and recommend it, due to the multitude of scientific studies and case reports that have confirmed the benefits of this unique treatment.

leech therapy benefits

More than a decade ago, in 2004, leech therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medicinal purposes. But what are the medical conditions that may be improved by this particular treatment?

Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases do not include only heart problems, but also those medical issues regarding veins and arteries. In fact, if you suffer from leg swelling and pain, you have most probably already heard about leech therapy as a method of treating these problems. But does it really works? According to medical studies, this is an efficient way of getting rid of pain and improving walking ability. The Alternative Medicine Review has published such a study in 2011, which highlighted the visible improvements of the symptoms of people suffering from leg pain, swelling and phlebitis. All of these problems can be visibly ameliorated by applying 4 to 6 leeches to the affected area.

If you are wondering how this is possible, you need to know that cardiovascular disorder symptoms are influenced by the saliva of leeches. This improves the blood flow, making it thinner, and reduces your sensitivity to pain in certain tissues.

Infectious Diseases

Unfortunately, the consumption of antibiotics continues to increase day by day, which leads to stronger infectious disease. Nowadays, the medical world is faced with a viral phenomenon, the resistance to antimicrobial agents. But research reveals that infectious diseases can be treated with leech therapy.

Chemotherapy has published a scientific study, showing that medicinal-leech extract is loaded with destabilase, a protein with strong antibacterial proprieties. For this reason, leech extract is helping your body to fight against infections without the need of synthetic pills. Moreover, if prescribed antibiotics are destroying your immune system, this particular protein is actually stimulating the immune response of your cells.


Almost 15% of deaths around the world are caused by cancer. Even though the scientific development has helped a lot in providing medicines and therapies to stop cancer, this cruel disease continues to kill thousands of people every year. However, many researchers sustain that leech saliva contains a unique combination of active substances that are as efficient as several cancer drugs. For example, leech saliva is filled with protease inhibitors, which act as antiviral drugs, as well as a multitude of anticoagulants. Moreover, a particular compound of their saliva is ghilanten. This substance is used to combat breast, prostate, and lung cancer, and melanoma.

Another effective substance present in leech saliva is hirudin, also used in anti-cancer therapies, but synthetically obtained. According to a study published in the European patent, hirudin can suppress the formation of a large range of tumor cells, and inhibits tumor growth.

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