Jalaukavacharana (Leech therapy) is Ayurveda’s contribution to the medical world. The first description of leech therapy is available in Sushruta Samhita written in 800 B.C. In biomedicine, or modern medicine, leech therapy began only in the 1960s.
Jaloukavacharana is used to treat various diseases through bloodletting (Raktamokshana), the ancient Ayurvedic Parasurgical bloodletting technique using Leeches. It is safely indicated in all mankind including the patients who are not able to withstand pain. The procedure, most unique & effective method, is used to manage ischemic, inflammatory, and infective disease by removing the impure blood in/from the deep-seated regions, such as Varicose veins; Thrombophlebitis; Acute gout attack; Cellulitis; Glaucoma; High blood pressure; Non healing Ulcer; Eczema; Psoriasis; Osteoarthritis; Peripheral Vascular diseases; Diabetes foot ulcer; Warts; and Acute Inflammation, Abscess, Boils in bruises, sprains and blows etc. It is indicated for treating delicate female, aged & young patients suffering from blood originated diseases.
Leech sucks only impure blood, hence it is considered as blood purification therapy. Leech’s saliva contains many biologically and pharmacologically active compounds that exert anticoagulant, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oedema effects in the host's body. During the process of sucking, Leeches secrete various biological enzymes into the blood of the patient through its saliva. Hirudin, a naturally occurring peptide in the salivary glands of blood-sucking Leeches, has a blood anticoagulant property, and is one important component of the therapy. This apart, a Leech can suck about ten times of its own body weight. Leeches are useful even in removing the blood from areas where tissue has been transplanted or reattached. Hence the Leech is found suitable as a therapeutic aid for bloodletting.
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