Tag Archives: leeches

Heinrich Heine and the mattress tomb

Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Harry Heine was born in Bolkerstrasse, Düsseldorf, Germany. He jokingly described himself as the “first man of the century,” claiming that he had been born on New Year’s Eve 1800. Researchers have discovered, however, that December 13, 1797, is most likely the date of his birth. The oldest of […]

Rheumatic fever: evolution of causal concepts and management

Amogh BJ Trivandrum, Kerala, India Nanditha Venkatesan Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India   For centuries rheumatic fever (RF) and its sequelae scourged the lives of millions of people. Despite a substantial decline in deaths from the disease, rheumatic heart disease remains a problem, especially in areas of poverty. Over the past few centuries, a growing understanding of […]

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

The leech makes a comeback

Meryl C. Sigaton City of Silay, Philippines   This image of the Hirudo Medicinalis (European Medicinal Leech) was photographed latching on to the human skin. Source The anterior and posterior suckers of the European Medicinal Leech is clearly visible in this image. Source Four (4) medicinal leeches were photographed on a human hand to show […]

Blood and bandages

Patricia A. Unsworth Bolton, England, United Kingdom   Photograph by the author. The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one […]

Bloodletting with leeches: more dangerous than meeting Dracula

Seidumanova Sabrina Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan   Since time immemorial physicians have treated patients by removing various amounts of blood from the circulatory system. For this purpose they used objects that could cut the skin, such as sharpened pieces of wood, stones, teeth of wild animals, or even the feathers of birds. These tools changed over time, […]

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 […]