Leeches Hirudo medicinalis
The latin name Hirudo medicinalis relates to the substance that the leech sends into the blood to keep it liquid - Hiruduine
Who ever was walking in wild waters or lakes could probably report of an encounter with this species. Suddenly a sharp, short pain, and before you realize what's up, the leech is hanging in the skin. The so attacked might try to shake the beast loose, but this one won't let go. That does not make him many friends. But yet, in the naturopathic practice you can see how favorable the "service" of one or several leeches can become.
In Germany there are commercial breeders for leeches, where you can order them. It is important to have a breeder with a professional reputation to make sure, that the leeches, that are used in the practice are clean and hungry.
The range of indications is larger than one might be aware of:
It goes literally from head to toe
glaucoma, iritis, middle ear infection, headache caused by high blood pressure, furunculosis, angina, diphteria, abscess on the tonsils, angina pectoris, portal vein thrombosis, liver clog-up,
Inflammation of bloodvessels, adnexitis, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the prostate, inflammation of the veins... to name only some of them
The application is easy.
Where the leech is supposed to suck the blood, the skin gets lacerated with a sterile needle. No scents or alcohol should be applied on this part of the skin, as the leech would refuse to bite otherwise.
When everything is ok for the leech, it bites, and then it sucks for about 30 minutes. By sucking in the blood, it sends some hiruduine into the blood to keep it liquid. When the leech is full it falls off and is taken into a container with water. The aftermath bleeding can last to up to two days. It should not be treated with hemostatic remedies, because the bleeding has also a therapeutic effect.
The leech is able to draw out toxins from the tissue. I had one patient with black legs from circulation disorders. Where the leech had sucked the blood about a hand-size big spot of pink skin showed, that this area had been cleared of debris. The poor leech died shorty after sucking this tainted blood. Another leech shared the same fate after I put it on the skin of my dog who had been bitten by a venenous snake . The dog survived, because the leech had sucked out most of the venom before we were able to see the next vet.