Leeches are an important part of the food chain–other animals depend on them for food sources, and they serve medical, and even forensic purposes (like in this article: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Blood+from+leech+ties+Australian+2001+crime/2119408/story.html).
Medically, they secrete an anti-coagulant and promote the flow of blood to wherever they are attached. More info on that is here:
And info on leeches in the food chain is here:
Leeches are especially helpful in skin grafts. They promote blood flow and can draw blood into the vessels of new skin where it would not normally go with natural healing. They also have a substance in their saliva that is an anti-inflammatory agent that can help with arthritis pain.
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