This section is from the book "Smith's Family Physician", by William Henry Smith. See also: Natural Physician's Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies that Medical Doctors Don't Know.
In order to apply leeches, the part should be first well washed with warm water. If it is necessary to apply them to the head, or any other part covered with hair, the hair must be first shaved off', smooth and clean, or the leeches will not bite. After washing the part, it may be smeared over with fresh milk. In order to give the leeches an appetite they should be allowed to crawl, for a few minutes before applying them, on a dry, rough cloth. If the leeches remain on too long, they may generally be removed by touching their heads with a little salt. If the leech-bites continue bleeding longer than is wished, the bleeding may be stopped by applying a little Tannic Acid, or lint dipped in Tincture of Perchlo-ride of Iron or Fryar's Balsam, or in the Styptic No. 51. And it should be made a rule-to prevent mischief-that bleeding from leech-bites should always be stopped before the patient is left at night.
The leeches, after sucking, should be put in a jar or bottle of fresh water, (which should be changed every day), covered over with coarse linen, and kept in a cool place. Leeches will not often bite a second time, but they will occasionally. Care should be taken to have the jar or bottle containing them well tied; as they will creep through a very small hole; and if not secured, may be found crawling about the house, and biting where their bites are not desired.