Leech therapy

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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The leech therapy is one of the derivation procedures. The leech is a ringworm that lives in Europe in fresh water or damp earth and sucks blood through the skin in humans and animals. Following the bite, post-bleeding occurs. The blood loss per leech is 50-100 ml.

General definition
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Leeches secrete hirudin, an anticoagulant. Blood clotting returns to normal after about 6-12 hours. This therapy corresponds to a gentle bloodletting. This results in a lowering of the hekt and local decongestion.

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According to the bloodletting, especially CVI, acute thrombophlebitis, postthrombotic syndrome. Acute attack of gout, boils, phlegmons, lymphatic congestion.

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  • Place leeches on the skin in the area to be treated. As a rule, the leeches themselves choose the optimal spot. If necessary, slightly scratch cleaned skin, place the leech's head on the wound. After about 45-90 minutes the saturated leeches fall off. Do not remove by force! Usually 1-5 leeches are applied. The wound usually bleeds for hours; apply a clean dressing. The patient should lie for about 6-8 hours.
  • Tinnitus: apply the leeches behind the ear.
  • In case of chronic inflammation and lymph congestion: application in the affected areas of the head.

Remember! Use leeches only once, then kill them. Star-shaped scarring may occur.

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Hemmorrhagic disposition, Marcumar patients, skin diseases in the area of leech application, AVK. Caution in patients prone to allergic reactions.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020