It has emerged that a large number of doctors are resorting to leech therapy with an aim to cure patients suffering from various skin diseases in Tamil Nadu.
Describing the therapy as safe, doctors at a hospital in Chennai said the treatment was again gaining popularity in India.
"Leech we are using now days for medicinal purpose, its scientific name is Hirudinea medicinalis. We are taking it from fresh waters or muddy pools from there. These are non-poisonous types of leeches and we are selecting the patients and then we will clean the affected part with just sterile water, no chemical should be applied over that part because leeches will be very much irritated with these chemicals. Then cleaning the skin of the patients and put the leeches in medicated water, means turmeric water, for 45 minutes, so that they will be stimulated, they will be hungry and they can suck the blood properly. After that we apply over that diseased part," said Anitha, a doctor.
Anitha further said the therapy yielded positive results and helped in the treatment of chronic wounds and other skin infections like eczema and psoriasis.
Several patients expressed their interest, as they found the treatment extremely effective, hygienic and clean. In fact, they even termed it to be more effective than other cures.
"I took allopathic treatment for my leg but it was not cured. I heard of this hospital that treatment is done by leech therapy, so I came for getting my leg treated with leech therapy. The leech is left on my leg and it sucked my blood. After my blood was sucked, I felt painless and now the wound is getting cured," said Venu, a patient from Kerala.
The leeches often feared by humans for their blood sucking power, embody chemical enzymes which can work as a catalyst in treatment of human ailments, by firstly diluting blood clots in infected body part, reducing the pain of the diseased portion and ultimately improving the blood circulation in the infected area, and helped to cure 60 to 75 per cent of the disease.
According to medical experts, over 100 bioactive substances are present in the saliva of a leech that goes into the body of a patient while impure blood is extracted.
The medicinal leeches are brown, red striped and olive coloured. The creatures have two suckers, one at each end and have three jaws.