The name of hirudotherapy comes from the word „hirudo”, which means „leech”.
The compounds that can be found in leech’s saliva – commonly known as „hirudosubstances” – are called Salivary Glands Secretion (SGS). SGS contains more than 115 bioactive substances, some of them are still being examined. The knowledge of how do they work and what are the health profits, is the thing that gives us new therapeutic opportunities.
Some of the Salivary Glands Secretion (SGS):
- Analgesic compounds – are still being examined. They kill the pain in the area of leech bite.
- Compounds with vasodilator properties – Hyaluronidase: prevents infection and improves the absorption. An enzyme that splits hyaluronic acid, lowers its viscosity and increases thepermeability of connective tissue and so the absorption of fluids.
- Hirudin – a potent anticoagulant that prevents blood from clotting by binding to thrombin.
- Antibiotic substances – prevent infections.