Taha Wani

On Navroz, hundreds rush for leech therapy

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Srinagar: Medical science has reached newer heights all over the world, and this part is no exception. many people in the Kashmir Valley still resort to leech therapy to treat different kinds of diseases.

Today on Navroz, the Persian New Year, hundreds of people visited practitioners of ‘leech therapy’ as the therapy is believed to be more effective on this particular day. Scores of people were seen standing in queues, eagerly waiting for their turn to undergo the procedure, at various places in the valley, especially at Dargah Hazratbal and other locations.

It is believed that leeches can cure frostbite, skin diseases, and other blood infections by extracting impure blood from the body. Leech therapy on Novruz has been a common practice in many parts of the valley, as people believe that being treated on that day is more effective.

Senior Physician, Dr. Majid ul Majid, who works at a Panchkarma Unani Hospital, told Kashmir Images that leech therapy is known as “Wonder Doctor” as it is used to treat some neurological issues, Glaucoma, hypertension besides skin diseases.

He said that at their hospital they use this therapy to treat patients and the results have been quite satisfactory.

“Leech therapy has 3500 year old history. We use it and get good results,” he said, adding those who are allergic to leeches and those having anaemia should avoid this therapy.

The practice of leech therapy is ancient, and the tradition is still alive in Kashmir, particularly on Novroz. Practitioners used to collect leeches from local water streams and rivers in the past, but now they obtain them from outside Kashmir, particularly from Saharanpur in Punjab.

Leech therapy is said to be a long-practised procedure in the Perso-Arabic traditional medicine of Unani, which is also practised in Muslim culture in South Asia and modern-day Central Asia.

Photo-Farooq Javed /Kashmir Images

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