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medicinal leech

Line breaks: me¦di|cin¦al leech

Definition of medicinal leech in English:

noun

A large European leech formerly used in medicine for bloodletting. After biting it secretes an anticoagulant to ensure the flow of blood.
  • Hirudo medicinalis, family Hirudidae
Example sentences
  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europeans considered leeches a panacea, and used billions of European medicinal leeches for everything from obesity to headaches.
  • There are many similar records of incredible numbers of medicinal leeches being used across Europe.
  • The medicinal leech almost became extinct in Europe due to the extremely high demand for them.

Definition of medicinal leech in:

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