Medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) are blood-sucking aquatic animals that live in fresh water. After thousands of years of use as an alternative treatment to blood-letting (an antiquated and abandoned practice of draining blood to cure diseases) and amputation, the FDA approved the commercial marketing of leeches for medical purposes.
The small, slimy creatures were widely used in the 19th century to cure a variety of ailments. Currently, they are used in many parts of the world to help heal wounds and restore circulation in blocked blood veins.
Ricarimpex SAS, a French company, is the first to request and receive FDA clearance to market leeches in the U.S. as medical devices. The firm has been breeding leeches for 150 years in a certified facility and tracks each lot of leeches it produces.
Return of Hahnemann era!