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Urban Ponds for Breeding Medicinal Leeches (Hirudo medicinalis Linnaeus, 1758) in Sweden
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik, Miljövetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-6264-7518
Institutionen för rysslandsstudier Uppsala universitet. (The story of the crusian carp)
2017 (Engelska)Ingår i: Meta H : historiskarkeologisk tidskrift, ISSN 2002-0406, s. 63-72Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Leeches and their medicinal applications are well-studied in history. In Scandinavia the use of medicinal leeches for therapy is mentioned already by Olaus Magnus in his Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus (1555). Carl Linnaeus named the species Hirudo medicinalis. In the 1760s leeches became widely accepted as a medicament and the demand increased, not only in Sweden but all over Europe. By the 1830s around 50 million leeches were employed in hospitals every year causing a shortage of leeches all over Europe. However, the species is rare in Scandinavia. In Sweden medicinal leeches have been harvested in the southern part of the country. The local occurrence did not cover the large demand and imported leeches had to be used. In the nineteenth century, over-exploitation reduced many local populations and breeding medicinal leeches in ponds became a concern for authorities in many countries. Several farms for breeding leeches in ponds were also founded in rural and urban settings. We know very little about them, but toponyms serve to remind us of such ponds. This article aims to shed some light on the forgotten practice of breeding medicinal leeches in urban ponds in Sweden.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Historiskarkeologiska föreningen , 2017. s. 63-72
Nyckelord [en]
Urban Ponds, Medicinal Leeches
Nationell ämneskategori
Miljövetenskap Historia
Forskningsämne
Historiska studier; Miljövetenskapliga studier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33546DiVA, id: diva2:1146827
Tillgänglig från: 2017-10-04 Skapad: 2017-10-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-27Bibliografiskt granskad

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