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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Henman's smelling salt solution
Tim Henman and trainer
Tim Henman got the treatment between games
A stricken Tim Henman turned to smelling salts to help revive his fortunes at Wimbledon.

The crystals, in Victorian tradition an effective method of helping ladies who had fallen prey to fainting fits, are wafted under the nose.

They release ammonia gases which irritate the linings of the nose and lungs, triggering a reflex which increases breathing rate, and as a result, alertness.

Henman was given the unorthodox treatment following a rain break in his five-set clash on Monday.


I think that if you overuse it there may be side-effects, because of the way they work

Gabriel Mojay, aromatherapist
Although he went on to lose half a dozen games in a row, he picked up to win the final set and move through to the fifth round.

Gabriel Mojay, Chair of the Register of Qualified Aromatherapists, told the BBC that it was an effective treatment.

He said: "Basically the base of smelling salts is ammonium carbonate.

"It acts as a stimulant to revive - this is one instance where it could be of benefit."

Alternatives

He said that while the smelling salts had an instant effect, he would be more likely to use an alternative such as rosemary oil on a patient with an upset stomach.

"It shows the powers of the olfactory (smell) system in these matters."

However, he warned that overuse of smelling salts could prove problematic.

"I think that if you overuse it there may be side-effects, because of the way they work.

"The ammonia fumes irritate the membranes of the nose and lung - it's more based on irritation than what we use in aromatherapy."

See also:

01 Jul 02 | Wimbledon
01 Jul 02 | Wimbledon
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