I’ve been told they’re made of ammonium carbonate and they work by irritating the lungs and nose so that the fainting victim breathes faster (to get oxygen to the brain faster, I guess).
Did people really used to carry smelling salts around with them? In movies about certain time periods, whenever someone faints, someone else whips out the smelling salts that they just happened to have handy. (It would make sense if it’s true that women’s fainting all over the place was caused by wearing constricting corsets.)
Does anyone still use smelling salts, or is there some reason why you wouldn’t want to revive someone that way?