History of emergence

Judging from the tombs of the pharaohs and the fragments of drawings found there, medicinal leeks were used for treatment as early as 1500-300 years BC. m. e. According to manuscripts that have survived to our time, Nicander of Colophon (200-130 BC) should be considered the pioneer of leech treatment. Avicenna, who turns to the "Canon of the Art of Medicine" (9-10th century), focused on the medical side and described the causes of diseases such as concussions, kidney diseases, bone and bone diseases, tuberculosis, epilepsy, hysteria and other problems.

Use in Europe

18-19 c. the use of medicinal leeches in Europe for therapeutic purposes has become a real revolution. Famous Russian doctors N.J. Pirogov, M.J. Mudrov, G. A. Zacharin. in 1859 A. V. Voskresenskis, commissioned by the Russian Military Medical Department, wrote the work “Monograph of the medical leech”. In this work, the history of the use of medical leech and treatment methods were described. This is one of the first Russian documents-guides that defined the recommendations of hirudotherapy and the use of leeches. From Napoleon’s notes written in the 19th century. at the beginning, it is known that he ordered the importation of 6 million leeches a year from Hungary to treat the soldiers of his army.

The first leech farms

Since the resources of leeches in the whole of Europe and Russia were destroyed in nature, in 1848. September 17 By decree, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia restricted the catching and trade of leeches. 1850 The Ministry of State Property of Russia has issued regulations allowing the leasing of lakes and ponds for the cultivation of medicinal leeches for 12 years. This is how the first leech breeding farms appeared. in 1851 the export of leeches from Russia to other countries was prohibited for six years and the catching of leeches was taxed. This shows the huge use of leeches in the world for medicinal purposes. There are medical leech breeding companies in the EU: two biofactories in Germany and one each in France, England, Romania, Poland and Lithuania. Non-EU countries in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Leech exporta

18th century – 19th century At the beginning of the 20th century, European countries used large quantities of leeches, as this became the only way to treat many ailments. At that time, Russia, just one of the many exporters of medicinal leeches to Europe, sold about 120 million leeches a year, accounting for the largest share of Russian treasury income after grain exports. Russia itself used about 27 million leeches in its market, France from 20 to 30 million leeches, England from 7 to 9 million leeches. London hospitals alone used 4.5 million leeches.

Spread of the method

Hirudotherapy is widely used in Russia (6,500,000 leeches are consumed per year), England (50,000 leeches are consumed per year), Germany (200,000-250,000 leeches are consumed per year). Kazakhstan, India, China, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Switzerland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, USA, Canada, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Indonesia, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Israel. in Lithuania in Lithuania until 1985. leeches were widely used in medical institutions and sold in pharmacies. From 1986-87 as the supply of chemical drugs increased, the need for hirudotherapy decreased significantly, but leeches continued to be used in Druskininkai clinics. Since 2004 after medical leeches began to be grown in Lithuania, this treatment was widely advertised in TV shows, articles, and radio programs. This had a great impact on the Lithuanian population and the undeservedly forgotten treatment method became popular again.