Of all the non-lethal self defense products, the pepper spray is probably the most popular.
Here's a little history of the pepper spray.
Even though using pepper spray didn't start to be popular as a self defense product until the 1980's, history discloses that red chili pepper was in use for personal protection in ancient India and China. There are quite a few historical documents showing it's use in China thousands of years ago. Chinese people and even warriors had a innovative technique of making use of this spice; and it included wrapping grounded cayenne in rice papers making it easy to throw in the faces of people and break.
It was favored as a weapon of choice for self defense because it would incapacitate a person momentarily. The secret martial art society in ancient Japan called the Ninjas has been using grounded pepper for disabling their adversaries for hundreds of years. Historical data reveals that in the Tokagawa Empire era in Japan, starting in the early 1600's, the police used a weapon called the Metsubishi. It was a Japanese weapon created to blind an enemy, used by ninja and law officers who might prefer to take someone alive, the Metsubishi was a little square or round box that was hollow and could be opened and loaded with different powders from pepper to ground glass depending on what they were trying to accomplish. A mouthpiece was then installed to the box and a short tube to make it easy for the powders to be blown into the face of the target. It was a very small and easily concealed weapon.
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