No, no, silly me — she means real bloodsucking leeches, not just the Hollywood variety. And as she carefully explains to David Letterman, these aren’t just your average, run-of-the-swamp variety leeches, but highly trained health-care partners:
Demi Moore has found a health secret that sucks. Literally.
“Just a week ago I was in Austria doing a cleanse and part of the treatment was leech therapy,” Moore said on “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night.
“It detoxifies your blood and they have a little enzyme that when they’re biting down on you gets released into your blood,” the actress added. “Generally you bleed for quite a bit and it detoxifies your blood.”
Moore said that the treatment is uncomfortable, but a little Lamaze breathing helps her get past the pain.
It actually produces hirudin, which thins the blood rather than detoxifies it, and only at the site of the leech bite. Here’s the video of Demi explaining it to Letterman:
Leeches have real medicinal value, but only in certain applications. They speed up healing for skin grafts by removing pooled blood beneath the graft, and also have uses in reattachment surgeries. The use for which Moore applies them — to “detoxify” the blood — is more folk medicine than actual science.So what’s the biggest takeaway from this? That movie stars will travel halfway around the world to have bloodsuckers crawl into their belly buttons? Or that leeches really prefer “Brazilian”?