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Le sanguisughe al servizio della medicina

Storia delle sanguisughe

Used in medicine since ancient times, leeches have now become a source of disgust and fear.

In this article we will explain the fascinating story of this small invertebrate.


The leech has been known everywhere since ancient times for its bites with numerous advantages. Hippocrates, father of medicine, was the first to promote the use of leeches through his mood theory. At the time, according to him, the role of the leech is to suck up the evil that exists in our blood to restore the healthy mood of men.

In the Middle Ages, the leech became even more popular with kings and nobles as well as peasants, who easily found them in rivers.

In the nineteenth century, the leech knew its moment of glory thanks to the French doctor François Broussais . He was of the opinion that all known evils are caused by inflammation of the intestinal tract. In his theory, Broussais explains that the only solution for curing diseases is to suck blood from the body. From now on, all over the world, the demand for leeches explodes, to the point that all pharmacies had a container full of leeches at the time.


Its many virtues

To understand why the leech was so popular for such a long period, you need to know its virtues better.

To begin with, the leech has a unique saliva, with properties that could be called miraculous. As explained before, although the leech has been used in medicine since ancient times, we must wait for the end of the nineteenth century to understand its true therapeutic benefit. In reality, the leech bite injects its saliva into the patient containing various substances with antibiotic, anticoagulant, healing properties.

The medicine practiced through leeches is called Hurido Medicinalis and is still used today in some countries such as Russia or India. There are more than six hundred species of leeches, but only fifteen are used for medicinal purposes.

Leech in Malaysia

During your stay in Malaysia , you will find leeches during your excursions in the middle of nature. Whether in the Taman Negara or Royal Belum national park , many travelers have encountered hungry leeches, mainly during the rainy season. In fact, this article aims to make it clear that the leech is not a dangerous animal as we might imagine, but with a long medical history. If bitten by one of them, you just have to be calm and remove it calmly!



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