According to Acharya Susrutha the Panchakarmas (bio purificatory therapy) are
- Vamana (Emetic)
- Virechana (Purgative)
- Vasti (Enema)
- Nasyam (Installing medicine through nose)
- Raktha mokshana (Bloodletting)
Raktha Mokshana (Blood letting)
Raktha mokshana or Bloodletting is practiced in India since thousands of years. According to our Acharyas the removal of impure blood from the body treats the root cause of the disease.
Raktha mokshana is divided in to two as:
- Those using shasthra (surgical instruments)
- Those without using shasthra (without instruments.)
According to the doshas it is classified into
- Vatadosha- Remove blood using shringa
- Pittadosha – Remove using Jalauka
- Kaphadosha – Remove using Alabu
Jalaukavacharanm/Hirudo Therapy in Ayurveda.
The name Jalauka means leech and avacharana means application. Jala means water and ouka means housing ie, animal having water as its residing place
Jalauka bheda (types of leeches )
Jalauka is mainly classified in to two types.
1) Savisha (Poisonous)
2) Nirvisha (Non –poisonous)
Jalauka/ Leeches are found in the cold and damp places. They are of cold potency (sheetha veerya) so used in pittaja vikaras.
Specialty of Leeches
Leeches have the ability to suck blood through it’s special orifices present in the front and back of its body. Leech can suck blood from an area from one hasta (palm) from 30 minutes to 6 hours. And can suck 5ml to 50ml blood.
Process Of Leech Therapy
Poorvakarma (Pre operative procedure)
- Good Leeches should be collected from the marshy land.
- The Leech should be kept in water mixed with turmeric for a while to make it active.
- Proper snehana & swedana (Oleation & sudation) of the patient should be done.
- The place to be bitten by leech should be cleaned.
Pradhana karma (Operative procedure)
- Leeches sucks only impure blood and purifying the blood
- Leeches secretes unique proteolytic enzymes that increases the capillary vessel permeability by tuning up the vessels
- Hirudin enzyme in the secretions of leeches contains 6S amino acid and they possess anaesthetic and anticoagulant properties
Paschat karma (Post operative procedure)
- The leeches are made to vomit the sucked blood by using turmeric powder or salt over its mouth.
- Sometimes it should be made to vomit manually by rubbing the leeche’s body from tail to head.
Care of the site of bite.
The area bitten by the leech should be cleaned and then bandaged with turmeric and honey.
Care of Leech after bite.
- Check whether proper vomiting of blood is done, otherwise it will become weak or even may die.
- Proper vomiting of the leech helps to regain early mobility and strength.
- Should be stored separately after treatment.
Process of Blood Digestion by Leeches
The saliva of leeches contains many enzymes like Hirudin, Eglin, Apyrase, B dellin, Lipase, Hyaluronidase, Esterases, Antielastase.
Specialty of Hirudin is that it acts as a powerful anticoagulant than Heparin.
Following the suction process the Leech can perform active movements after a week.
Frequency of Leech Therapy
- The frequency of Leech therapy varies according to disease and its severity.
- The Leech can be applied once in a week up to 6 sittings.
- One Leech should be reserved for a particular patient to avoid infection.
Simple and the most effective therapy made it the best on in many of diseases.
- Varicose vein
- Ulcer(oozing wound) Acne , pimples
- Cellulites Haematoma
- Blood clots in muscle, skin Abscess
- Generalized swelling
Swelling in debilitated person.
- Caused by sour diet.
- Suffering from Anemia (Pandu)
- Bleeding piles (Arsha)
- Pregnancy (Garbhini)
- Ascites (Udara)
Dr. Sreelakshmi Vijay, BAMS