Varicose Veins & Hirudotherapy

Varicose veins, and especially spider veins, have long been considered cosmetic problems. Because of this many insurance providers do not cover vein removal surgeries or treatments under their prospective plans. The repercussions of these seemingly cosmetic problems however, can be dire.

Varicose veins are the result of dysfunctional valves that no longer maintain blood flow in one direction—as they should. As a result, the vein walls weaken, which causes back flow and blood pooling. Short-term, this causes unsightly, bulging or knotted veins protruding on the skin’s surface; long-term, this can lead to blood clots, which are pushed through the blood stream to the lungs and can result in a pulmonary embolism (PE), and this can be fatal.

For many however, given their insurance policy, they will not schedule for vein treatment from their doctors because there’s no way to pay for it. This however, is being remedied by a centuries-old, natural method that has used during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, onward through the Renaissance, and now resides primarily in India and particular clinics in America (see the Silesian Holistic Health Center in Brooklyn, New York). What is this method?

As its title dictates, the health center in Brooklyn fosters natural medicines; this means no medications, chemical injections, etc. Andrew Plucinski’s office sponsors hirudotherapy. For those who feel “hirudo” looks familiar, it’s because it is the root word for what are commonly referred to as leeches. Yes, leeches. Mr. Plucinski applies these blood-sucking slug-like creatures to varicose veins, leg ulcers, or blue veins that will later become varicose.

On the surface, this seems to be outdated treatment and Mr. Plucinski has the potential of coming across as some leech whisperer, but this is contrary to the case. The Food and Drug Administration agrees that leeches are a viable and respectable treatment even by today’s standards.


Of course, an immediate concern is how much pain a patient may undergo from a leech. Truthfully, the leeches secrete a natural anesthesia of their own, so, while the initial bite of hundreds of teeth may be a bit painful, the pain will subside. The leeches then, drain the blood pools and additionally, secrete an enzyme that breaks down lipids and blood clotting. As mentioned before, it’s the blood clots that can turn a cosmetic issue into a fatal problem. Of course, this enzyme is necessary for the leeches’ livelihood because otherwise the blood would coagulate after being ingested. However, this is also why leeches don’t simply serve as a temporary fix, but a permanent solution. After hirudotherapy treatment, compression stockings are a great resource to keep the effects permanent and prevent clotting.

Varicose veins are not the only condition that leeches have a propensity to rectify. Leeches have been used for all kinds of venous disorders from microvascular surgeries to anti-aging and common migraines. Leeches are often used when doctors need to reattach various minor appendages like ears or fingers. The leeches can easily locate small capillaries that doctors would otherwise have difficulty finding, and, once again, by secreting a natural compound that prevents clotting, fresh blood can rush to the newly attached limb.


Locating this particular treatment may prove challenging, but definitely worth it if you’re looking for affordable, effective, and natural remedies for your dysfunctional veins.

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