Are smelling salts a drug?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Are smelling salts a drug?” and provide information on the effects of using smelling salts, the risks of using them as well as how to use smelling salts.

Are smelling salts a drug?

Yes, smelling salts can be a drug. They are usually used as stimulants to make someone more conscious. Individuals have to sniff the smelling salts which can then cause irritation in lung and nasal passages.

This irritation can force respiration. This can trigger the release of oxygen to the brain which can cause you to breathe rapidly.

It can also be used on an individual who has lost consciousness. Smelling salts can cause an individual to undergo forceful respiration which can help them regain consciousness.

What are some effects of using smelling salts?

Smelling salts can bring back an individual to consciousness especially if they have lost consciousness. Some individuals use smelling salts to increase attention span and alertness. It might also improve their cognitive health which can further increase their physical capabilities.

However, some individuals do not feel that smelling salts increase physical strength. It can be more of a psychological effect due to increased consciousness.

What are some risks of using smelling salts?

Excessive usage of smelling salts can make an individual become extremely alert and focused which might cause them to overstrain their body. This can increase the risk of accidents or injuries.

Sometimes, it can cause individuals to ignore injuries and push beyond the limit. This can be harmful because when the drug’s effect wears off, the individual might experience excruciating pain.

As there is forceful respiration that occurs after inhaling smelling salts, individuals can experience head jerks. This can further cause head and neck injuries.

Some athletes take smelling salts to improve their performance. However, there can be a risk of concussion or sports-related injuries which can occur if too much is taken. Consuming too many smelling salts can cause them to ignore injuries which can delay wound healing too.

Do not use smelling salts if the individual is already suffering from a pre-existing head injury. Avoid touching your eyes after handling ammonia salts. This is because it can irritate your eyes. 

You can use an ointment if it ever comes in contact with your eyes. If the irritation persists in your eyes, call a doctor.

Individuals can also get addicted to using smelling salts. This can further cause withdrawal symptoms in people who stop using them.

How to use smelling salts?

Smelling salts can be given to revive an unconscious person. However, it is not recommended to be used by athletes. As a result, exercise caution when you plan to use them.

If you wish to use smelling salts, you can keep them 10 centimeters away from the nose and inhale them. This can prevent nasal irritation and also prevent the nose from burning.

If you suffer from respiratory diseases and asthma, make sure to not use smelling salts. If you have any doubts about using smelling salts, it is better to consult your healthcare professional.

What exactly are smelling salts?

Smelling salts refer to ammonium carbonate or ammonia. Some smelling salts are mixed with water and some smelling salts are also fragrant due to the addition of lavender, eucalyptus oil, or other such agents.

How to store smelling salts?

Make sure to keep them in a sealed container and store them in a cool and dry place. Keep them away from moisture.

Can you prepare smelling salts at home?

Yes, you can prepare smelling salts at home. Initially, you would have to use Epsom salt in a dry measuring cup. Measure them and add the sea salt. Add ¾ tsp of sea salt to Epsom salt and mix well.

Stir them well using a spoon. Now, it is time to give a fragrance to the smelling salts. For this purpose, you need to create an essential oil blend.

Select the type of essential oils that you would wish to add to the smelling salts. Choose oils that are in the same category. 

For instance, you can mix Peru balsam, peppermint, and rosemary together. All these oils can be blended to induce alertness in them. 

Determine the ratio in which you wish to blend. You can start with a blend of 10, 20, or 25 drops. Once the blend is prepared, add 6 drops of these blends to Epsom salt. You can use a dropper for the purpose of blending. Keep the smelling salts in an amber-colored bottle.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Are smelling salts a drug?” and provided information on the effects of using smelling salts, the risks of using them as well as how to use smelling salts.