The Use of Insects in Medicine
How To Use Ants As Sutures
As far back as recorded human history ants have been used as sutures to hold wounds of all type together to heal. During the early Egyptian and Greek civilizations it became widely known that large ants had very tight grips in their mandibles. Which are the large horn shaped extensions from their mouths. When the ant would bite it could close it's mandibles like a vise on whatever was in it's mouth. These early civilizations began to use these ants to help close wounds and promote healing.
This process is still used today primarily in undeveloped and third world countries. It is a no cost way to treat wounded. Instructions on how to use ants as sutures are below.
- MaKe sure the wound is cleaned as well as possible.
- Tightly push both sides of the hemorrhage together.
- Take an ant by the body and place its head in line with the wound.
- After the ant bites down and it's mandibles pinch the sides of the wound together twist off it's body leaving the head holding together the wound.
- Repeat along the line of the wound using further ants one at a time until the wound is sealed.
Cases Where Leeches Are The Most Successful
- Microsurgery, leeches release an anti-coagulant to counteract the clotting of blood.
- During reattachment of limbs, organs, eyelids, fingers and ears
- Treatments to assist those with poor circulation.
Using Leeches To Keep Blood Flowing
As with ants, leeches have been used throughout history the primary use is to keep blood flowing and keep certain parts of the body healthy and alive. In extreme cases this is due to accidents that make blood flow difficult.
During many surgeries the coagulation of blood can mean the difference between life and death. Leeches keep the anti-coagulation process natural which means no drugs with possible side effects need to be used to accomplish the same task. In the case of many of these treatments and operations the over all effectiveness is dramatically increased. Situations that once could have possible ended in permanent disfigurement now allow many to continue on with their lives after a period of healing.
Cleaning Wounds With Maggots
Maggots were initially used in the far past by aboriginal peoples in the Americas and Australia. But for the rest of the world it was only through periods of war and possibly very unsanitary conditions that the true nature of what maggots could do was discovered. It wasn't until during the US civil war, World War I and World War II that maggots were used intentionally to heal people.
The healing properties of maggots are very specific. In many cases burns, infections and other issues cause large amounts of dead flesh and this creates a serious problem for the body to regenerate. The living flesh beneath can suffer worse infection from the dead flesh. It is also a complication for medical professions to strip away the dead flesh without damaging the living flesh. This is when maggots are used. Maggots will eat only dead flesh and leave all living flesh intact. Once they have consumed all of the dead flesh they are removed and the healing continues.