Leech Treatment in Arabic Medicine

Leech treatment was a widely practiced method when Greek and Arabic medicine (Middle East) were at the forefront. Medieval healers have described various therapeutic uses of leeches in many problems: from skin conditions, nervous disorders, pain, cracks, some infections, etc. For the treatment of blood diphtheria, Azam Khan writes that it is good to use leeches on the neck under both ears. If the patient has difficulty swallowing, it is recommended to use leeches on the back of the neck.

Similarly, some nervous system disorders have been thought to respond well to treatment with leeches. According to Razi, the use of medical leeches in the atrial region is beneficial for migraines. Tabri recommends, in psychosis, putting leeches on the scalp. The location of the leeches on the hip joint was described by Razi to relieve sciatica pain. According to Ibn Sina, applying leeches to gangrene can help repair tissues. This effect is attributed to the vasodilating action and also to hyaluronidase, which is present in the salivary enzyme.

The blood-sucking activity of medical leeches is also used to relieve Azam Khan hemorrhoids. According to him, the best results are obtained by applying leeches in the lower part of the sacrum or can be applied around the edema. They also used this to treat anal fissure. The application of medical leeches on the affected area is also considered useful in treating orchitis. Treatment with leeches even helps in some pediatric diseases.

To drain stagnant secretions in filariasis, leech therapy can be done on the heel. The medical benefits of leeches have long gone beyond the old conception of the benefits of bleeding. The discovery of many bioactive substances that have healing properties have made leeches a valuable medical and surgical tool. Numerous studies over the centuries have strongly shown that it is one of the safest treatments, except that it is effective and without side effects.

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