Smelling salts


Smelling salts

Smelling salts are chemical compounds used to arouse consciousness. One such compound is ammonium carbonate, a colorless-to-white, crystalline solid ((NH4)2CO3.H2O).

Smelling salts release ammonia [NH3] gas, which irritates the mucous membranes of the nose and lungs, and thereby triggers an inhalation reflex (that is, it causes the muscles that control breathing to work faster). Even though ammonia gas is considered toxic, smelling salts produce only a small amount.

When placed in water, it is called "aromatic spirits of ammonia."Fact|date=January 2008

Ammonium carbonate was formerly known as sal volatile. It was also known as spirit OF penis or salt of hartshorn, because ammonia was primarily produced from the antlers of male deer (harts).

Smelling salts are often used on athletes (especially boxers) when they are knocked unconscious.Fact|date=January 2008 or in strongman competitions to wake up competitors before a heavy lift.

ee also

*Aromatherapy

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • smelling salts — n [plural] a strong smelling chemical that you hold under someone s nose to make them conscious again when they have ↑fainted …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Smelling salts — Smell ing salts An aromatic preparation of carbonate of ammonia and, often, some scent, to avoid or relieve faintness, headache, or the like. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • smelling salts — n pl but sing or pl in constr a usu. scented aromatic preparation of ammonium carbonate and ammonia water used as a stimulant and restorative * * * aromatized ammonium carbonate: stimulant and restorative …   Medical dictionary

  • smelling salts — ► PLURAL NOUN chiefly historical ▪ ammonium carbonate mixed with perfume, sniffed by someone who feels faint …   English terms dictionary

  • smelling salts — n. an aromatic mixture of carbonate of ammonium with some fragrant scent, used as an inhalant in relieving faintness, headaches, etc …   English World dictionary

  • smelling salts — noun a pungent preparation of ammonium carbonate and perfume; sniffed as a stimulant to relieve faintness • Hypernyms: ↑formulation, ↑preparation • Substance Meronyms: ↑spirits of ammonia, ↑sal volatile * * * noun [plural] : a chemical that has a …   Useful english dictionary

  • smelling salts — N PLURAL A bottle of smelling salts contains a chemical with a strong smell which is used to help someone recover after they have fainted …   English dictionary

  • smelling salts — smell′ing salts n. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a preparation for smelling, essentially of ammonium carbonate with some agreeable scent, used as a stimulant and restorative • Etymology: 1830–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • smelling salts — a preparation for smelling, essentially of ammonium carbonate with some agreeable scent, used as a stimulant and restorative. [1830 40] * * * …   Universalium

  • smelling salts — noun (plural) a strong smelling chemical that you hold under someone s nose to make them conscious again …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English