Bloodletting: Modern medicine has dismissed the therapy as harmful to the patient

At a clinic outside a mosque in Delhi, the capital of India, hundreds of impoverished patients patiently queue for what they believe will be a cure their aches and pains - the ancient treatment of bloodletting.

The practisce is run by 79-year-old Hakim Ghyas who claims that the treatment can cure almost all ailment including arthritis and heart diseases.

He told the Mail Online that if a patient is brought to the clinic at the early stages, it can even cure blood cancer.

During the procedure, the practitioner makes small cuts with a razor blade on a patient's hands or legs while the patient's arm is tightly banded to ensure a steady and limited blood flow.

Ghyas does not charge his patients and depends on one of his sons who is a shopkeeper for his monetary needs. His other son helps him out with the bloodletting.

The practice of bloodletting is thousands of years old and was first mentioned in ancient Greek and Sanskrit medical texts, the report says.

The therapy involves controlled bleeding in order to rid the body of "polluted blood". The technique is based on the model of menstruation process in women. It was believed by Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, that the monthly menstruation process cleaned women off the bad blood in their body.

The therapy was discredited in Europe in the 19th century since doctors believed it weakened the patients and also made them prone to infection. However, there has been a recent surge in the number of people seeking the treatment also in the form of blood-sucking leeches.

There have been various studies confirming the effectiveness of the study while one of the researches also claims that those who donate blood every six months have fewer chances of getting a heart attack.