Aromatic salts have been used as a medicinal tool since the 13th century. They were often used to prevent or remedy fainting, but aromatic salts have gone out of fashion in most medical circles. Aromatic salts can still be purchased without a prescription for personal use. About 50 years ago, they became popular in sports to supposedly counteract the effects of head injuries.
Aromatic salts became popular in boxing, where their use was eventually banned. Although there have been no negative effects of aromatic salts, their addictive use as a sports stimulus could be dangerous and open the door to substance abuse in the future. The use of aromatic salts is especially popular among football and hockey players, who believe that this reflex will counteract the effects of concussion. Concerns focus especially on the use of aromatic salts to treat dizziness or the side effects of concussions or head injuries caused by contact sports.
However, there is no evidence that they have such a benefit, and even some leagues have banned aromatic salts. Coaches, parents and sports coaches are crucial to ending the inappropriate use of aromatic salts in young athletes. If aromatic salts come into contact with your eyes, rinse them gently with water and contact your poison control center, doctor, or emergency department. Most of the aromatic salts you see today are aromatic alcohols of ammonia, which is a mixture of ammonia, water, and alcohol.
An athlete may lose consciousness due to a head injury or have a “cloudy” mind due to a head injury, and aromatic salts can be used as temporary self-treatment. In the United States, the use of aromatic salts is legal and approved to revive a person who has fainted. It may seem miraculous to see a little salt awaken an unconscious person, but the pungent smell and the surge of oxygen only awaken consciousness. More recently, athletes have started using aromatic salts in the belief that their use will keep them more alert.
Although they have stopped consuming them more frequently, athletes have started using aromatic salts to improve their sports performance. Aromatic salts can mask a more serious injury or cover up worsening symptoms, complicating proper neurological evaluations. One practice that has become popular among high-level athletes is the use of aromatic salts to increase alertness. According to anecdotal reports, aromatic salts can sometimes cause headaches, especially when used in higher doses.