In Bihar, many patients who have not been cured by using common medicinal treatments, are now opting for leech therapy.
Leeches were first used in medicine as early as 200 B.C. and were common until the mid-1800s when newer therapies took their place.
Describing the therapy as safe, skin specialist Muzafer Islam said the treatment is again getting popular not just in India but also in the world.
"Leech therapy is getting popular in developed countries like America and England as well. Along with the blood, the leeches suck the pus as well. Also the kinds of leeches we use have these special kinds of enzymes that quickly clot the blood sucked out. Post treatment, we don't have to use any special medicine. Also, the leeches suck in all the dead cells and tissues as well. In this treatment, patients get instant relief without much pain," said Islam.
A growing number of patients have been showing interest, as they find the treatment effective, hygienic and clean.
"I have been suffering from Lima for the past 15 years, got it checked by many doctors, tried many cures like allopathic and homeopathic. Eventually, I read about this therapy in the papers and came here. First a little blood is drawn out through a syringe from the affected area, and then a leech is placed on it. I have been getting this treatment done for the past two months, and it is giving a lot of relief" said Ramkishor Thakur, a patient.
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.