Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: leech

  • Leeching and François-Joseph-Victor Broussais

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Broussais & leeching. Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica. The practice of bloodletting began with the Egyptians and was succeeded by the Greeks, Romans (including Galen), and healers in India. In medieval times it spread throughout Europe. The “leech craze” was so popular in the nineteenth century that it has…

  • The leech makes a comeback

    Meryl SigatonCity of Silay, Philippines Leeches (hirudo medicinalis) are invertebrates of the phylum Annelida whose main diet is blood. They are hermaphrodites and carnivorous, having 700 species that thrive in a variety of environments. Most of them are small, weighing less than 1–1.5 g before feeding, but some may reach a length of twelve centimeters.…

  • The central nervous system of the leech

    Leeches are worms of the subspecies Hirudinea that live in oceans, rivers, or on land. They consist of several parts or segments; a front area designated as the head or anterior brain, the middle part consisting of segments each containing a nerve ganglion as well as other organs, and the hind part which has the…

  • More than “toil and trouble”: Macbeth and medicine

    Mariel TishmaChicago, Illinois, United States The image of a woman – a witch — working over a bubbling cauldron filled with stomach-turning substances is a staple of both horror and more family friendly media. One such example is Shakespeare’s Macbeth, specifically the “Double, double toil and trouble” speech given by the three witches in Act…