Documented accounts of the use of the leech for medical purposes date back to about 400 BC during the time of Hippocrates. Currently, therapy utilizing leeches medicinally is undergoing a renaissance. Michaelsen, Roth, and Dobos write that the animals "...are classified as a medicinal product in Europe and as a medical device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Leech therapy is used to address venous and rheumatic diseases. The book also includes case studies of the use of the animal in plastic surgery.
The meticulously researched book presents solid scientific evidence to negate general misconceptions regarding the animals. The chapter covering the indications for this particular therapy, including use for treatment for varicose veins, will convert the skeptics.
A study on leeching written by the authors was published in the "Annals of Internal Medicine" and was featured in an issue of "The New Yorker." Their pioneering articles on medicinal leech and its therapeutic potentials continue to introduce a wider audience to this ancient form of treatment.
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