Behrend advises the application of leeches (6 to 10) to the lumbar region. They serve to diminish the congestion of the kidneys, so as to prevent the exudation of plastic matter, and to restore diuresis. Saline diuretics greatly aid their beneficial operation. They are also recommended by Dr. R. B. Todd.
3205. In Amenorrha, leeches, applied by means of a proper glass to the os uteri, a few days previous to the period when the catamenia should appear, are eminently serviceable. Dr. Ashwell states that he found this a very efficacious method of reproducing the discharge. If it be not practicable to apply leeches to the os uteri, they may be applied to the pubes, or the inner sides of the thigh. Dr. D. Davis, § who also bears testimony to the general efficacy of this treatment, mentions that it is far from novel, having been used by Lanzoni || in 1691.
Locock¶ particularly recommends, as an adjunct to other treatment, the frequent application of a few leeches to the anus. "Even in debilitated and exhausted constitutions," he adds, "this remedy, when carefully watched, may be safely applied, and relief will often be very rapidly manifested."
Churchill** directs the abstraction of blood, by cupping on the sacrum or loins, or by applying a number of leeches below both groins, or to the vulva, when the catamenia are scanty, or suppressed; and, in some cases, a repetition of the depletion is necessary. In Congestive and Inflammatory Dysme-norrha, much benefit is often derived from the application of leeches to the vulva, or the inner sides of the thighs.
Graves was in the habit of applying two leeches every second day to the verge of the anus; and repeating these sometimes as often as fifteen times. This treatment he found productive of much benefit.
* Med. Notes and Reflections, p. 49. Lond. Journ. of Med., Aug. 1849. Diseases peculiar to Women. § Obstetric Medicine, p. 231.
|| Ephem. German, die ii. Ann. 10, 1691. ¶ Cyc. Pract. Med., vol. iii. p. 110. ** Diseases of Females. Clin. Lect., vol. ii. p. 251.
3209. In Neuralgia, attended with inflammatory action or much vascular excitement, particularly when it obstinately resists the application of anodynes and other local measures, leeches placed over the seat of pain often afford immediate relief; but even if they fail in this, they place the system in a favourable condition for the use of other remedies.
3210. In Pruritus Scroti, Pruritus Ani, and Pruritus Pudendi Muliebris, leeches applied around the affected part, and followed by anodyne fomentations, are often productive of much relief. Remedies which had failed to make any impression previous to the use of the leeches, are often very effectual after their application. Sycosis, Psoriasis, and other obstinate Skin Diseases, are sometimes benefited by the application of leeches to the sound skin in the neighbourhood of the disease. In Inflammation of the Skin and subjacent Tissues, during the formation of Abscesses, when the part is hot, swollen, and tense, leeches applied to the affected part are often effectual in mitigating the inflammation and in affording relief. In Phlegmasia Dolens, relays of leeches (20 to 30) to the inner side of the limb prove serviceable.