Leech therapy is a naturopathic treatment and belongs to the so-called diversionary procedures. Leeches are grown sterile especially for medical purposes and can be delivered through the pharmacy. They are subject to the drug regulation.
The principle of leech therapy is based on local bloodletting and the action of specific leech agents.
What is to be considered?
Before treatment, the patient is informed about side effects such as: B. wound infections, scarring or hyperpigmentation (possible, intensified brown coloring of the skin) cleared up.
Because leeches are particularly sensitive to odors, the patient should avoid alcohol, nicotine and fragrances (e.g. perfume) before treatment.
Treatment should take place in a relaxed environment.
The leeches are placed directly on the desired location. Depending on the indication and location, the treatment is carried out with 6 - 12 leeches. The bite is easy to feel. When the leeches have reached a certain level of saturation, they release the suction on their own and fall off. The suction process takes place over a period of 30 minutes to 2 hours. The leeches must not be removed by force.
The wounds are bandaged with cotton and cellulose after treatment. If the wounds bleed heavily, the dressing is changed every hour, later every 12 hours.
To optimize success, the therapy can be repeated after an interval of 4 weeks. A leech is used only once, otherwise there would be a possible risk of infection (e.g. from hepatitis or HIV) for other patients.
The following leech active ingredients are a valuable part of therapy:
Hirudin - has an antithrombotic, fibrinolytic (anticoagulant), immunizing, lymphatic, antibiotic and diuretic (promotes urine output); local vasodilation (vasodilation) has a spasmolytic (antispasmodic) effect.
Eglin - inhibits proteases (enzymes that break down proteins).
Bdellin - a plasmin inhibitor (plasmin is an enzyme that can break down components of blood clots)
Hementin - has a hyperemic effect (promotes blood circulation).
Leech therapy is used for:
Arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
Osteoarthritis (joint wear) - e.g. B. Coxarthrosis (hip joint wear) or gonarthrosis (knee joint wear)
Acute and chronic thrombophlebitis - superficial phlebitis
Posthrombotic syndrome (PTS) - describes the effects of permanent damage to the deep venous system of the arm or leg after an expired phlebothrombosis (complete or partial occlusion of a vein by a blood clot - thrombus).
Congestion states of lymphatic vessels and veins
Hemorrhoidal disorders - nodular, arterial vasodilation in the area of the anus (mouth or excretory opening of the intestine)
Acute and chronic otitis media (otitis media)
Headache due to hypertension (high blood pressure)
Boils - purulent inflammation of hair follicles or sebaceous glands
Infected insect bites
Panaritium - purulent inflammation of a finger
Leech therapy should not be used if the following diseases or health risks exist:
Nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
Congestion edema - water retention in the tissue, e.g. B. Because of Obstructive venous return flow
poor peripheral blood flow
Gangrene - ischemic necrosis (loss of tissue) due to lack of blood circulation
Unclear skin changes
Leech therapy is a tried-and-tested naturopathic treatment that is a useful addition to conventional medical treatment.
The information listed here is intended to show you diagnostic or therapeutic options. The effects mentioned depend on many factors and can vary from patient to patient. Successful treatment cannot be promised. This is the case with all medical treatments, regardless of whether this is a conventional orthodox medicine or a naturopathic treatment.