Leeches are used in the therapeutic practice since ancient times to treat many diseases. Leech therapy or Raktamokshana Jalauka Charana is a kind of Ayurvedic blood purification therapy, where leeches are used to suck the impure blood from the infected part of the body.
Here are 10 benefits of Leech Therapy:
1. Manages High Blood Pressure
It’s known through various studies that the saliva of leeches contains many beneficial enzymes that can help lower blood pressure. Anticoagulation enzymes found in leech’s saliva reduce coagulation tendencies of the blood, thus, promoting good blood flow to the body, as well as another enzyme that dissolves blood clots, so not only does it break up the blood clots, but it also prevents clots from traveling to other parts of the body, causing a noticeable reduction in both the systolic and diastolic pressure.
2. Helps from Blood-clotting
One of the useful factors from the leech saliva is it can decrease the viscosity of the blood. This helps the patients who are suffering from blood clotting, which commonly occurs post diabetes or under high cholesterol conditions. The saliva of leech makes the consistency of blood thinner resulting in improved blood circulation.
3. Effective treatment for Hemorrhoids
Leech therapy is known to be effective in thrombosed hemorrhoid (piles) as it relieves venous pooling of blood in that area by dissolving the clotted blood. Several Ayurvedic centers use Leech therapy for the treatment of hemorrhoids.
4. Treatment for Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Alopecia
Leech application gives significant relief to the symptoms of skin diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis. Leech therapy is known to increase blood circulation, therefore when therapy is applied to thinning or bald areas, the increase of blood circulation helps enhance the concentration and delivery of nutrients that assist in making hair follicles strong, thereby assisting in the promotion of hair growth.
5. Preventing Eye-inflammation
Another area where leech therapy can be beneficial is eye inflammation. Chorioretinitis, Conjunctivitis, Keratitis and Scleritis are just some of eye inflammation disorders. During Leech Therapy, blood is sucked out, thereby reducing inflammation. This leads to a reduction in pressure and lessens post-inflammatory complications.
6. Treatment of Gum Diseases
Gum diseases are one of the most common problems suffered by all ages, especially if strict dental hygiene is not followed. Leeches are known to produce many enzymes that are beneficial and have been used for many years to effectively treat gum disease and promote healing. Anticoagulation agents increase blood flow in the gums, helping to flush away toxins and allow delivery of nutrients to the affected area.
7. Treating Hepatitis
The liver is a very important organ, not only does it function to filter toxins from our body, but it also produces important enzymes, acts as a storage area for vitamins and nutrients, hence maintains balance. A healthy blood supply is needed to fight infection and inflammation in the liver and beneficial enzymes found in the saliva of leeches help reduce swelling as well as vasodilate the blood vessels, further enhancing the blood flow.
8. Effective for Kidney Diseases
It has been found that leech therapy can significantly help individuals to have healthier kidneys. Since kidneys can be damaged by the effects of diabetes, one of which is an increase in the viscosity of the blood, the anticoagulation enzymes can help prevent coagulation of the blood or thickening of the blood's consistency.
9. Treating Migraines
There is a theory that suggests migraines are caused by tiny blood clots that are formed in the heart, which then travel to the brain and these blood clots disrupt the flow of blood to the brain and thus cause the typical symptoms of migraine like the one-sided headache, photophobia, and nausea. There is a substance found in leeches called Hirudin. This substance is an anticoagulant, causing blood to become more diluted, thus allowing it to flow easier and faster. Hirudin can dissolve those little clots that have formed by converting fibrinogen to fibrin.
10. Treatment of Sport Injuries
Leech therapy is extremely beneficial in the healing process of sport injuries due to the enzymes found in leech saliva, which helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Enzymes found in leech saliva dilate vessels and work together with other enzymes to flush out toxins and promote healthy circulation to accelerate the healing process, as well as containing antibacterial enzymes that help prevent and eliminate the production of bacteria.