Hirudo nipponica

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Other Names:

Historical Use of Hirudo nipponica

Hirudo nipponica in Traditional Chinese Medicine


Chinese Name (pinyin): Shuizhi

Chinese Name  :

Common Name  :Leetch

Specific Name  : Hirudo

Scientific Name:
Collection  : The drug is collected in summer and autumn, scalded to death with boiling water, dried in the sun or at low temperature.

Description  : Body of Whitmania pigra: Flattened spindle shaped with a large number of segments, 4 - 10cm long, 0.5 - 2cm wide. Dorsal side blackish brown, slightly convex with black speckles forming 5 longitudinal stripes, ventral side even, brownish yellow, lateral sides brownish yellow. Anterior end somewhat pointed, posterior end blunt with a sucker at the anterior and posterior ends respectively. The anterior sucker inconspicious, the posterior sucker larger. Texture fragile, easily broken, fracture gelatinous, odour slightly stinking.

Identification  :

Processing  : Wash clean, cut into sections and dry.Scalded: Scald section of Hirudo with talc powder as described under the method for scalding (Appendix ll D) until it becomes slightly expanded.

Action  : To eliminate blood stasis and to stimulate menstrual discharge.

Indication  : mass formation in the abdomen, amenorrhea due to blood stasis; traumatic injuries

Precautions  : Contraindicated in pregnancy.

Dosage  : 1.5 to 3 g.

Storage  : Preserve in a dry place, protected from moth.

Synonymns for Hirudo nipponica

Patent Medicines and Medicines with Multiple Ingredients that include Hirudo nipponica

Pharmaceutical Information

Chemical Constituents

Evidence or the Use of Hirudo nipponica in the Treatment of Epilepesy

Basic Science

Animal Studies

Cohort, Case-Control and Non-Randomized Trials

Randomized Controlled Trials


1st Five Results: pubmed search

Andong Ding, Hongzhuan Shi, Qiaosheng Guo, Fei Liu, Jia Wang, Boxing Cheng, Weiwei Wei, Chengfeng Xu
Gene cloning and expression of a partial sequence of Hirudomacin, an antimicrobial protein that is increased in leech (Hirudo nipponica Whitman) after a blood meal.
Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B, Biochem. Mol. Biol.: 2019, 231;75-86
[PubMed:30794960] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Zuo-Yan Sun, Fu-Jiang Wang, Hong Guo, Lu Chen, Li-Juan Chai, Rui-Lin Li, Li-Min Hu, Hong Wang, Shao-Xia Wang
Neural Regen Res: 2019, 14(5);783-793
[PubMed:30688264] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Yu-Xi Lu, Bo-Xing Cheng, Qiao-Sheng Guo, Fei Liu, Hong-Zhuan Shi, Ling Guo
[Studies on effects of water temperature, stocking density and feeding cycle on growth and feeding in Hirudo nipponica].
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi: 2017, 42(13);2443-2448
[PubMed:28840681] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Zeng-hui Lu, Ping Shi, Shi-jiang Chen
[Histological Study on Integumentary and Digestive System of Hirudo nipponica].
Zhong Yao Cai: 2016, 39(8);1738-41
[PubMed:30204375] [WorldCat.org] (P p)

Ping Shi, Zeng-hui Lu, Yuan-chuan He, Li Li, Shi-jiang Chen, Rui Shi
[Study on Reproductive Performance of Hirudio nipponica].
Zhong Yao Cai: 2015, 38(6);1144-7
[PubMed:26762051] [WorldCat.org] (P p)



Side Effect and Warnings

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Adverse Effects