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History of hirudotherapy

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History of the leech in medicine

Treatment with leeches over 3,500 years ago and leeches (often mistakenly attributed as cobra) are included in the hieroglyphics painted on the walls. Hirudotherapy for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, from headaches to hemorrhoids. Bleeding is one of the oldest medical practices practiced since ancient times, including Mesopotamia, the Greeks, the Maya and the Aztecs. In Greece, bloodshed was a common practice in the time of Hippocrates. Herophilos (335-280 BC) - Ancient Greek physician, who was the first scientist, he systematically conducted scientific autopsy of human corpses and is considered the first anatomist. Hippocrates Kossky was also a Greek physician, he is called the "father of medicine". He was the first doctor who managed to reject superstition, legends and beliefs that are attributed to the supernatural or divine forces that cause illness.

leech therapy

Both doctors used medical leeches for bloodletting. Ancient medical philosophy distinguishes four elements: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. For the proper functioning of the body, all four elements must be in balance. Any disease or disease was considered a consequence of an imbalance between them, one of the main elements is blood.

Treatment with leeches or hirudotherapy suffered the fall of the regional Roman Empire and remained popular throughout the Middle Ages. For centuries, it has remained an integral part of the treatment of the disease around the world. The bleeding in its various forms was particularly popular in the United States of America.

leech therapy history

A small box for beer, the doctors of Srdenevyeokh in such transports leeches from the patient

Indeed, by the mid-1800s, the demand for leeches was so high that the French imported about forty million leeches per year for medical purposes, and in Russia the export of medical leeches was equated with the export of grain. Not only in Europe, but also on the Internet, and in the Middle East.

With the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s, the leech has gone to the background. However, bloodletting is still preserved and even recommended by Sir William Osler in 1923. in the publication of his textbook "Principles and practice of medicine". In the second half of the 20th century, leeches began to play a role in medical practice and leeches are now widely used in surgery when it is necessary to remove stagnant blood and better blood circulation.

Medical research and application of leeches never stopped in countries such as Russia and Germany. Therefore it is not surprising that both countries reached a high level in general at the rate of medical leech, Russia became the largest producer of Hirudo Medicinalis (medical leech) in the world.

Today all over the world the application of the leech is medical on the verge of rebirth. There are still many questions for further research that help in the treatment of various people.


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