Leech jar


Title
Leech jar
Description
Medicinal leeches were used as a natural “cure – all” for a wide variety of illnesses until the early 20th century. Today, leeches are used in more specific ways, such as to prevent gangrene and to treat black eyes. Leeches are useful to doctors because their saliva contains an anticoagulant (a substance that prevents blood clots), a vasodilator (a substance that widens blood vessels) and a local anesthetic. Leeches have these qualities because they are sanguivorous, meaning that they get their nourishment from sucking blood. In the 1800s, doctors, barbers, and others who were responsible for treating people with leeches kept their live leeches in ornate jars like this one. This jar may have originally had a lid that could be put on top to keep the leeches inside. The bottom of the jar has a maker’s mark that reads “Rosema[n].”
Date
1800-1899
Original Format
medical equipment
Extent
Local Identifier
Country Doctor Museum
Subject(s)
Location of Original
Country Doctor Museum
Rights
This item has been made available by The Country Doctor Museum for use in research, teaching, and private study. Researchers are responsible for using these materials in accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code and any other applicable statutes. For information regarding reproduction, please contact The Country Doctor Museum at hslcdm@ecu.edu;
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

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