Are Smelling Salts Safe?

Are Smelling Salts Safe?

Since the 13th century, smelling salts or ammonia inhalants have been used as medicinal tools. Smelling salts were commonly employed to prevent or treat fainting, but they have fallen out of favour in most medical circles. They are still available to be bought over the counter for personal purposes.

Although they have gone out of favour, athletes have started using smelling salts to improve their sports performance. This has given smelling salts a bad reputation. Nevertheless, ammonia inhalants are entirely safe to use.

Read on to learn about smelling salts, their benefits, how to use them, and whether or not they are safe.


What Exactly Are Smelling Salts?

Ammonium carbonate, otherwise called sal volatile or concentrated smelling ammonia in salt form, is the main constituent in smelling salts. Most smelling salts on the marketplace are diluted with water, and occasionally a perfume, like a eucalyptus, is added to make the aroma more pleasing when used.

In addition, when smelling salts were utilized as a therapeutic remedy in the Victorian age, they were often manufactured with pure ammonium carbonate. It would always be best to inspect the complete chemical composition of your smelling salts before using them.


Smelling Salts Benefits

The main benefit of smelling salts is that you may use them to revive someone who has fainted. Even though they are no longer extensively used by physicians, smelling ammonia is helpful for this purpose.

Moreover, athletic trainers have discovered new uses for smelling salts. One application is for the treatment of head injuries. Athletes may lose consciousness or feel a "cloudy mind" due to a head injury, and smelling salts might be employed as brief self-treatment.

Athletes have used smelling salts to boost their energy and attention. Although, there is no 100% verifiable proof that they have such an advantage, athletes continue to use it as they often report that it gives them a psychological edge in the gym or chosen sport.  Some leagues have even prohibited the smelling salts for use in the gym.


How Should You Use Smelling Salts?

Smelling salts are legal and recommended for use in reviving people who have fainted. They haven't been authorised for sports performances or other activities, so proceed with care if you intend to take them for anything other than a fainting treatment.

For sniffing salts, place them at least 10 centimetres (4 inches) away from your nose. Keeping them 10 to 15 cm away from your nose enables the salts to function without risking burning your nasal passages.

If you suffer from any respiratory health conditions, particularly asthma, you should avoid using smelling salts. The discomfort caused by smelling ammonia may worsen your disease.

Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask your healthcare physician if you have any concerns about how to use gym smelling salts, such as if they're safe for you. They will clarify your concerns and advise on using ammonia smelling salts properly.


Smelling Salts Usage

Usage would be determined by the product's strength and the manufacturer's instructions.

While no evidence suggests product usage restrictions, ammonium carbonate irritates the lungs and nasal passages; you should use it sparingly.

With excessive use, your sensitivity may rise, requiring you to use stronger smelling ammonia or increase your consumption; you must avoid this to prevent any possible long-term effects.

In addition, sniffing salts are frequently available in two forms. One is in the shape of little individual capsules designed for one-time use, while the other is in the form of a bottle that will last somewhat longer.

However, the substance loses its efficacy if exposed to air, implying that it has a shelf life.


Are Smelling Salts Safe?

Smelling salts have been used since the thirteenth century. They are supplied at every major online shop and several traditional pharmacy stores. This may lead you to believe that gym smelling salts are safe, but this is not always the case.

Although no research has shown that they are hazardous, no studies have shown that they are exceedingly safe. Pro athletes may be able to use them, but younger athletes are unlikely to benefit from them.

Even if you believe they're safe, the reaction you receive from them is such a rise in arousal—and the impact may be more significant for younger children—that it seems like a prescription for someone injuring themselves. Even if your gross motor strength improves, young athletes don't have enough repetitions or experience to sacrifice their motor abilities.

Another problem is using ammonia salts to assist athletes in regaining consciousness or clearing the fog after their bell is rung. These applications were formerly reasonably popular, but increased information about concussions has shown them to be exceedingly risky. If you take a substantial hit and feel unwell and out of it, the last thing you must do is utilise a substance to temporarily snap you out of it so you can keep playing.

Using a substance to overcome the body's natural defences is just not a good idea; that's why ammonia salts have been forbidden in professional boxing for a long time. Athletes who struggled to stand would take ammonia smelling salts between rounds to restore clarity when they were legal. That allowed them to continue fighting even though they had no right to be there.

Moreover, it's also not great to use ammonia salts to wake up an unconscious athlete since it might worsen an injury. You'd never use it to restore consciousness. You would not want to attempt to jerk someone back into awareness if they had suffered a head injury and lost consciousness.


Smelling Salts Safety Concerns

Misuse of gym smelling salts is a growing issue in various professional sports leagues. Players have discovered that the jolting impact of ammonia salts gives them a surge of energy before a major game or important play or when they begin to become weary during a game.

Athletes suffering from concussion symptoms may seek relief from ammonia inhalants. Smelling salts near me in this manner might put children at risk of future injuries.



While there is no definitive evidence that smelling salts could enhance an athlete's performance, they may have a place in helping to improve mental focus and provide a short-term energy and strength boost to athletes. However, because they are stimulants, they should be employed sparingly and adequately to avoid undesirable side effects.

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