14 European Medical Leeches Hirudo medicinalis
Medical Leeches - Hirudo medicinalis
are fresh water annelids that are specially prepared for human therapeutic purposes. The use of medicinal leeches is sometimes referred to as "Hirudotherapy". Certain species of leeches (i.e. Hirudo medicinalis) have been used by surgeons after re-attachment surgery (such as finger re-attachment) and applied to healing graft tissues to help blood flow. To do so, they secrete hirudin, which is a powerful anticoagulant.