What Are Smelling Salts- Know What’s Best For You

    What Are Smelling Salts? Are They Bad For You? Find Out.

    If you are finding answers on what are smelling salts and if they are right for you, here is a detailed guide to find everything about smelling salts and if they are safe for you.

    People have been using smelling salts for hundred of years to revive an individual who has passed out of fainting. After knowing such things about this salt, it is really common for all of us to wonder what are smelling salts and the importance they hold. These days, some professional athletes also use smelling salts to boost their performance before they go out to perform, weightlift, or train.

    An article was published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine, that mentioned the long history of smelling salts. They were used earlier to restore a person’s senses. Also, you will be surprised to know that smelling salts have a long history as they were used back in Ancient Rome.

    Keep scrolling and reading to know more about what are smelling salts, their usage, side effects, and much more related information to help you understand better.

    What Are Smelling Salts?

    salt, hand, food
    Photo by LoggaWiggler on Pixabay

    Smelling salts are composed of perfume and ammonium carbonate. Many athletes use them to increase their focus and alertness. However, smelling salts these days are more likely to contain water and ethanol fixed with diluted ammonia. Both these solutions work amazingly well to restore a person’s sense and have many restorative properties.

    Traditionally, the doctors used smelling salts in order to revive people who passed out or fainted due to some reason.

    However, these days, the athletes who wish to improve their performance as in their alertness and focus while playing sometimes use smelling salts for stimulant effects.

    The stimulating effects these smelling salts contain are mainly due to the presence of ammonia. It works by irritating the nasal and lung membranes when a person inhales or sniffs them. This will result in waking the person up. When the person inhales this they start breathing faster which eventually sends more amount of oxygen to their brain thus waking them up and giving a lot more focus.

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    Are Smelling Salts Bad?

    Currently, few studies are there in which it is mentioned that using smelling salts as directed will not cause many short-term or long-term side effects in a person consuming it.

    However, few organizations are present that raise concerns about using smelling salts. This is mainly for athletes who use it to increase focus and alertness in their game. According to UConn Health, there are few concerns which include:

    1. Some people prefer using smelling salts to reduce the effects of head trauma, for example, concussions, so that they can get back to their game as soon as they can. This can be really dangerous for a person’s health.
    2. Sometimes, when an individual smells this salt initially, they begin facing jerks involuntarily into their head. This will only cause additional harm if the person already has any spinal injury. This reaction can also possibly be a result of holding the smelling salts very close to their nose. This clearly states that when you use smelling salt from the required distance and after reading all the instructions carefully, it would not cause jerking of the head when you inhale.
    3. Now that you know what are smelling salts, you must also know that using them without proper guidance by a doctor can cause serious problems.

    The Center For Disease Control And Prevention mentioned in an older statement that when a person is overexposed to ammonia present inside the smelling salts, it can be really fatal for their health.

    However, as you already know smelling salts are composed of ammonia, the CDC generally tells that their effects are not harmful unless used appropriately. They are beneficial and are not a matter of concern as per CDC reports.

    The CDC also mentions that overexposure to large quantities of ammonia in other products other than smelling salts is likely to be a matter of concern and causes health predicaments such as irritation and burns to the lungs after inhaling.

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    It is very clear that you already know by now what are smelling salts, but their usage is not defined briefly, let’s see what are they.

    Usage Of Smelling Salts

    Two primary uses of smelling salts are mentioned here:

    1. Revive a person that has suffered a head injury or fainted or passed out due to some reason.
    2. Provide a boost of needed energy temporarily.

    According to the research, the FDA still approves using smelling salts to review a person who has fainted. However, there are no significant proofs that the FDA approves them to enhance the athletic performance of an athlete. This might sound unfair for another person who hasn’t smelled these salts.

    For smelling the smelling salts, you need to hold the salt nearly 10 cm away from your nose. Holding it too close might result in jerking of your head and cause injury. Also, you cannot hold it very far as it will be of no use.

    Benefits Of Smelling Salts

    what are smelling salts

    You are likely to be searching for their benefits, we already know the main benefits of these salts are reviving a person and increasing alertness and focus. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved them to be used in order to revive a person who has fainted or passed out.

    However, there are few athletes that believe that using smelling salts before their performance will help them perform much better and increase their strength overall. It is not wrong to think so but there are no major proofs that this is approved.

    However, as per recent researches and studies, the athletes using smelling salts to increase their performance have not seen significant changes in their overall performance which indicates that smelling salts has done nothing to boost their energy or alertness during their games. Also, this shows that smelling salts might have a placebo effect, giving an individual the confidence that their performance will certainly be better after its usage.

    You know by now what are smelling salts and what benefits they possess, but we have not read much about their side effects, let’s see what are the common side effects of using smelling salts in reviving a person or for athletes.

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    Side Effects Of Smelling Salts

    There are no side effects associated with either long-term or short-term usage of these salts. However, one must know that using smelling salts in large quantities or holding them too close to your face is not recommended. It is said that concentrated exposure to these smelling salts may result in damaging the nasal membrane.

    When you use smelling salts as directed and in small doses, you do not have to worry about their side effects or risks associated with them. However, if you are suffering from any condition you must talk to your doctor about the usage of smelling salt to ensure it is safe to be used or not.

    The Bottom Line

    There is no risk in using smelling salt unless it is used as directed and in a small dosage. Many people use it to either rejuvenate someone who has fainted or passed out or to increase the performance in their games or weightlifting. However, the latter one is considered to be a placebo effect.

    There is only a little risk in using smelling salt that is using them in high quantity or smelling them really close to your nose. You should not use smelling salt to render inside a game or after suffering from major injuries, you might not feel the pain just after using it and it may increase your performance at that span of time but later on, it can be painful once the effect vanishes.

    However, you must still seek guidance from your doctor before taking smelling salts even if it is important. It will give you a basic idea of how much to use in a day or when to use it. Also, the doctors will note your present condition and note if that you have any condition at present that need not recommend you to take smelling salts.

    This was all you needed to know about what are smelling salts along with their benefits, usage, and side effects.


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