Jalaukavacharan (Indian medicinal leech application) in the management of Raynaud’s disease- A single case Report

Dudhamal Turakarm Sambhaji, BIJENDRA SHAH


In Ayurveda, Sushruta has described the uses of Jalauka (medicinal leech) for the treatment of various medico-surgical disorders.  About 700 leech species were identified and among them only 5 leeches are used for medicinal purpose. In Ayurveda, 2 varieties of Jalauka are found i.e. poisonous group (Savisha) and non-poisonous group (Nirvisha) while in modern science, poisonous leech are known as stinging land leeches (Hemadipsapicta and Hemadipsa ornate). The species Hirudomedicinalis is commonly used for therapeutic purpose which is a NirvishaJalauka. During the process of sucking, leeches secrete various biological enzymes in to the blood stream through its saliva. Hirudin is one important component which acts as anti-coagulant.  In addition to that several other properties are found in leech saliva like anesthetic, antibiotic, analgesic etc. Therefore it is advised to use in ischemic, inflammatory conditions, skin grafting, chronic fatigue, pain, non-healing ulcers, etc.

In this case report, female patient aged 80 years diagnosed of having Raynaud’s disease with complaints of gangrenous changes in left digital phalanges (three fingers), swelling and pain in forearm since 20 days. Three leeches were applied in each digit of gangrenous part. Total three setting once in every week was done. After 1st sitting of Jalauka application pain and swelling was reduced. After second sitting the line of demarcation was developed and the necrosed part was dried up. After third sitting all necrosed part was sloughed out without surgical debridement.  This single case manifests that gangrenous digit due to Raynaud’s disease can be managed with Jalauka application.


Ayurveda; Gangrene; Hirudomedicinalis; Jalauka; Leech; Raynaud’s disease.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18282/jim.v0i0.494


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