A new leech bank has been opened at the A.K. Tibbia College (AKTC), promoting study of Unani medicine, at the Aligarh Muslim University.
The slimy leeches will help treat chronic Eczema, Psoriasis and a variety of other diseases. Hirudotherapy or leech therapy has been in practice by traditional practitioners of medicine.
Normally, the humble leeches get a bad rap though they may not deserve it. But now surely they are making a comeback with a clinical significance in the Indian medicine. These crawly blood sucking insects will now be stored in the recently inaugurated leech bank at the AKTC.
F.S. Sherani, dean faculty of Unani medicine, said: “The procedures of Hirudotherapy and Hijama are increasingly getting internationally accepted for treating non-healing ulcer chronic Eczema and Psoriasis, Alopecia Plantar Fascists, and Musculoskeletal disorders and the Ministry of AYUSH is also promoting the art of natural way of healing through these Unani treatments. Studies with leeches have been carried out to observe the healing of complicated varicose veins, pain reduction in osteoarthritis, and other disorders.”
Shagufta Aleem (Principal, AKTC), said: “Traditional Indian medicine is one of the oldest medical systems in which leech therapy was adopted for treating specific disease conditions of patients.”
After putting leeches in an aquarium during the inaugural of the Leech Bank, B.D. Khan (Department of Moalejat) and Arshi Riaz (Department of Kulliyat), said: “This Leech Bank is eco-friendly and has been established under the Ministry of AYUSH norms.”
They added, “Since the saliva of the leech consists of anaesthetic agents, anti-coagulant, anti-platelet aggregation factor, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory substances, and gelatinous substances; the leech therapy can be used in treating various chronic ailments.”
“The utility of leech therapy even extends to cases of plastic surgery, but it is important to identify the medicinal leeches,” said Mohammad Shoaib (In-charge, Leech Bank and expert in Hijama and Leech Therapy).