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  Hirudo medicinalis, the medicinal leech, has analgesic, anti-platelet, antimicrobial, and anticoagulant properties.

 Hirudotherapy is the use of leeches for medicinal purposes, and is mostly used in re-constructive surgeries.

  Hirudin is a thrombin inhibitor found in the salivary secretions of medicinal leeches. The synergistic effect of hirudin with vasodilatory substances (acetylcholine, histamine) secreted in leech saliva help to minimize blood pooling.

  Ultimately, hirudotherapy results in the restoration of micro-circulation and oxygen supply to the wounded tissue to enhance wound healing.

 

Reference: Singh AP. Medicinal leech therapy (hirudotherapy): a brief overview. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 Nov;16(4):213-215.

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