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Everyone saw the movie where a sensitive (usually female) soulfaints very often. In next scene there is always a maid bringing something andplacing it under her lady’s nose, what makes her regain consciousness. The stuffin that little box is known as smelling salt, and if you believe the recordsevery lady had one of these with her at any time, just in case.

Smelling Salts Use

These days, smelling salts are still in use, believe it ornot. They are given to unconscious people, whether men or women, but also toathletes. Boxers knocked out during the match are frequently revived with thesesalts, as well as some other athletes before their competitions.

Salt of hartshorn,sal volatile or plain old ammonium carbonate is the main ingredient of smellingsalts. This white crystal salt has a specific perfume and aroma. In the olddays, ammonium carbonate was produced from the hooves or horns of a male deer,while modern production is much simpler and oriented to preserve wild life. Becauseof that, or perhaps due to lower costs of production, smelling salts are madeby mixing water, ethanol and ammonia to get (NH4)2CO3H2O, which is achemical formula of smelling salts.

The salts work by irritating the mucus membranes in thelungs, throat and nose, stimulating the breathing, and they are proven towork in unconscious people. Besides relieving unconsciousness, smelling saltsare also well known remedy for headaches. They can increase the supply ofoxygen to the head, and many patients experience significant relief inhalingthese salts. The only action which is left to be either proven or dismissed israise of alertness by inhalation of smelling salts. So far, there are nomedical studies able to confirm that belief, and to make doctors recommendsmelling salts for that purpose.

Possible Adverse Effects

Smelling salts are not often recognized to cause any medicalproblem in people using them. There are low chances that you will experiencehealth issue using smelling salts sometimes, but as the precaution measure,long term usage is not advised.

Inhalation of these salts is sometimes known to provoke spinalinjury or worsen the pre-existing condition, due to the inhalation reflex. Thesalts’ flames are also reported to cause burning in the mouth and nose, whilehigh doses of smelling salts might be very dangerous because of the toxicity.

Athletes using smelling salts should be aware of thepotential danger, for they could be masking some fatal injuries using thesesalts for instant recovery.

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