Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Charles Joseph Traviès

  • Medicinal leeches in art and literature

    Martin DukeMystic, Connecticut, United States For more than two thousand years, the extraordinary blood-sucking abilities of the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) provided physicians with an unusual if not bizarre alternative to venesection, cupping, and scarification for blood-letting their patients (Figure 1). This therapeutic use of leeches was described in the writings of Hippocrates, Galen, Nicander…