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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-18

An analytical study to evaluate the safety of reusing of the vomited leech in leech therapy: A pilot study


1 Department of Shalya Tantra, KAHER's Shri B M K Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, PG Studies and Research Centre, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Shalya Tantra, KAHER's Shri B M K Ayurveda PG Studies and Research Centre, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Dravyaguna, KAHER's Shri B M K Ayurveda PG Studies and Research Centre, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
4 Central Research Facility, KAHER's Shri B M K Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Pradeep S Shindhe
Department of Shalya Tantra, KAHER's Shri B M K Ayurveda PG Studies and Research Centre, Belagavi - 590 003, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijaim.ijaim_5_21

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Background: Leech therapy is a point of attraction in the medical as well as in the scientific world due to its various outstanding properties, while studying the Ayurveda and scientific literature one can find difference, i.e., discarding after single use as per modern literature, but in Ayurveda, it can be reused after 7 days of leech therapy. Studies of such kind were not carried or published in any scientific journals, so ethical approval and developing scientific methods for validating the study were necessary, so a pilot study began with ethical clearance. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the bacterial and fungal count of leech saliva and blood emesis before and after leech therapy using disc diffusion method. Materials and Methods: Leeches were collected from the normal habitat from Mangalore region possessing the same weight and morphological characteristics as that of the Nirvisha Jalouka as mentioned in classics (Shanku-mukhi). The selected leeches were stored in well water having nonchlorinated with minimum bacterial load. The well water was selected from three geographical regions of Belagavi city, and among them, one sample was selected having minimal bacterial load. Ten patients with infectious skin diseases who were indicated for Jalaukavacharana (Vidradhi, Dushta-vrana) were selected. The experimental leech saliva was tested for total bacterial count (TBC) and total fungal count (TFC) before and on 8th day of application, along with venous blood of the patient and blood vomitus of leech after application was tested for TBC and TFC. Statistical analysis was done based on TFC and TBC before and after application. Results: TBC and TFC of leech saliva at 8th day and before application were similar which indicates the leech gut has destroyed the bacteria or inhibited the growth of bacteria. Conclusion: TBC and TFC help to produce evidence that after application of leech and proper vomiting will not allow the growth of bacteria. Hence, safely, it can be reused after 7 days.


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