Presentation (Project) Title

Leeches: A Comparative Look on Leech Therapy in Ayurvedic Medicine and Other Cultures

Mentor Information

Holly Donahue Singh (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

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Event

Abstract

Hirudino therapy or Leech therapy has been used as a method to treat many ailments throughout history. Leech therapy is generally used as a method to thin the blood because leeches inject an anticoagulant to make sure that their victim’s blood does not clot. There have been other instances of leech therapy usage in ayurvedic medicine, such as treating, alopecia, gout, hemorrhoids, and a variety of other conditions. The goal of the research that will be conducted is to examine why leech therapy is still used in ayurvedic medicine. This question will be answered by examining other cultures and their use of leech therapy, as well as the history behind leech usage in medicine. In terms of historical usage, leech therapy has seen usage in ancient Egypt, Greece, and the middle east. In fact, leech therapy has been used in ayurvedic medicine for a substantial amount of time, which is why it is surprising that it is still used somewhat today. Leech therapy in ayurvedic medicine has seen somewhat of a disappearance in the early 20th century because antibiotics were becoming more popular methods to treat ailments. Leech usage has since made somewhat of a resurgence. On the other hand, leeches have also been known to contribute to ailments, such as infection. Based on the preliminary research, it is safe to assume that leeches in ayurvedic medicine have seen a resurgence because enough research has been conducted on them in order to use them safely.

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Leeches: A Comparative Look on Leech Therapy in Ayurvedic Medicine and Other Cultures

Hirudino therapy or Leech therapy has been used as a method to treat many ailments throughout history. Leech therapy is generally used as a method to thin the blood because leeches inject an anticoagulant to make sure that their victim’s blood does not clot. There have been other instances of leech therapy usage in ayurvedic medicine, such as treating, alopecia, gout, hemorrhoids, and a variety of other conditions. The goal of the research that will be conducted is to examine why leech therapy is still used in ayurvedic medicine. This question will be answered by examining other cultures and their use of leech therapy, as well as the history behind leech usage in medicine. In terms of historical usage, leech therapy has seen usage in ancient Egypt, Greece, and the middle east. In fact, leech therapy has been used in ayurvedic medicine for a substantial amount of time, which is why it is surprising that it is still used somewhat today. Leech therapy in ayurvedic medicine has seen somewhat of a disappearance in the early 20th century because antibiotics were becoming more popular methods to treat ailments. Leech usage has since made somewhat of a resurgence. On the other hand, leeches have also been known to contribute to ailments, such as infection. Based on the preliminary research, it is safe to assume that leeches in ayurvedic medicine have seen a resurgence because enough research has been conducted on them in order to use them safely.