It is a common misconception that leeches remove only blood from their prey. Although mechanical bleeding has multiple benefits that include stimulation of new blood production, removal of the stale blood that has difficulty returning to the general blood circulation, the benefit that is overlooked is that the leech removes the fluid in between the cells: interstitial fluid. This “cleans up” the space between the cells from cellular toxins and debris that are produced by each of our cells during normal metabolism
One of the components of leech saliva that will be described below is able to lice the scarring and adhesions as well as bust the blood clots thus freeing up the normal return of interstitial fluid back into the lymphatic system. This allows the micro vessels to re-open and deliver fresh blood with oxygen and nutrients to the human tissues and vital organs. This improves overall blood circulation that aids in wound and organ healing.
The main therapeutic effect comes from leech saliva that has multiple individual components that are described below. The leech injects this incredible “medication” usually during the first 20 minutes of the treatment. Approximately 70% of the injected saliva will act locally at the organ or the part of the body that is being targeted, and 30% of the saliva will enter the general circulation and will act systemically. Here are some of the most studied components of the leech saliva with its medicinal benefits:
- Hirudin - Inhibits blood coagulation Hirudin contains valuable amino acids:glutamine - strengthens the immune system, especially during physical trainingcystine - participates in cell regeneration, has an antimicrobial effectlysine - improves the absorption of calcium and stabilizes the mental stateglycine - regulates metabolism, reduces mental stressserine - it is a component of brain cells, responsible for the synthesis of important amino acids
- Calin (saratin) - inhibits blood coagulation
- Destabilase - dissolves blood clots and improves the transport of nutrients to cell membranes. It has a positive effect on the organs of vision, so treatment with leeches is used for cataracts.
- Hirustatin (serine proteinase) - immune system modulator
- Bdellins - anti-inflammatory
- Eglins - anti-inflammatory
- Anesthetic substance - anesthetic
- Orgelase - Leeches, like many annelids, have a well-developed ability to regenerate (restore) their body. After the session, the vessels and tissues of the patient acquire a similar property for a while. As a result, blood circulation is restored, defects in the walls of blood vessels heal. It enhances the synthesis of new capillaries.
- Collagenase - Accelerates the healing of wounds, dissolves scars, reduces the appearance of cellulite.
- Lipase - breaks down fat and cholesterol, therefore, promotes weight loss and improves the condition of atherosclerosis.