2019, Vol. 3 Issue 1, Part APages: 01-06
Irsal-E-Alaq (Hirudotherapy) in Unani system of medicine and modern medicine an overview
Abdul Khalique, MY Siddiqui and Mohd Azeem Ashraf
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Irsal-e-Alaq (Leech therapy, Hirudotherapy) has been one of the most important and widely practiced method of regimenal therapy for centuries being equally prevalent among the ancient, medieval and modern Unani physicians. Leech therapy involves an initial bite, which is usually a painless bite, followed by the sucking of 5 to 15 ml of blood. Its major therapeutic benefits are not only due to blood sucked during the biting, but also from the various bioactive substances, such as Hirudin, calin, Hyaluronidase, and Histamine-like substances. Greek and Arab physicians used leeches for a wide range of diseases starting from the conventional use for bleeding to systemic ailments, such as skin diseases, nervous system abnormalities, urinary and reproductive system problems, inflammation, and dental problems. Nowadays, they are being used for various therapies by Unani as well as allopathic practitioners. This paper is aimed to review and analyze the benefits, indications, mechanism of action, methods and complications of Leech therapy in Unani system of medicine.