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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-36

Leech Therapy- A Holistic Approach of Treatment in Unani (Greeko-Arab) Medicine


1 Department of Moalajat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore - 560091, India
2 Department of Amraze Niswan wa Qabalat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Ilmul Advia, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, India
4 Department of Tahafuzzi wa Samaji Tib, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Azad Hussain Lone
Department of Moalajat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore - 560091
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 22736888

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The Unani System of Medicine also known as Greeko-Arab medicine, founded by Hippocrates is based on the concept of equilibrium and balance of natural body humours (blood, bile, black bile and phlegm). The imbalance in the quality and quantity of these humours leads to diseases whereas restoration of this balance maintains health of a person. The treatment methodology of diseases is based on four therapeutic modalities viz. Regimental therapy, Dieto-therapy, Pharmacotherapy and surgery. Irsale Alaq (Leech or Hirudo therapy) is one of the most important and widely practised methods of regimental therapy used for local evacuation of morbid humours. It is a procedure of treatment with the use of medicinal leeches. It has been suggested and successfully practised by Greeko-Arab physicians in the management of musculoskeletal diseases, gynaecological disorders, chronic skin diseases, thromboembolic diseases, varicose veins, ENT disorders etc since long. According to Unani doctrine, the efficacy of leech therapy is attributed to the analgesic and resolvent activities of leeches. However, from modern perspective, the saliva of leech contains about 100 pharmacologically active biological substances like Hirudin, hyaluronidase, vasodilators, anesthetics, antibacterial, fibrinases, collagenase etc. These substances are injected into human body while sucking of the blood and are responsible for the analgesic, anti inflammatory and anesthetic effects of leech therapy.


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