biotherapy with leeches and maggots
For each treatment, six to a maximum of a dozen leeches are placed near the patient's wound. When a leech finds a nice source of blood it attaches itself by its sucker onto the skin and pumps its saliva into the wound. Many valuable substances thus enter the blood.
Scientists believe there are up to 100 ingredients in the saliva of a leech, one of which is the anticoagulant Hirudin.
These ingredients also dilate the blood vessels such that blood clots are loosened and the blood can flow normally again. After 30 to 60 minutes the leeches have filled their bellies with blood and they simply fall off of the wound.
They were hated and loved, almost eradicated from the face of the earth,
but always struggled through – and they are now having their greatest
Mark Siddall from the American Museum of Natural History explains why we are such afraid of these little healers.