Turns out hot sauce can (sometimes) be good for your health

I was amused – and happy – to read this news report.

Randy Schmitz nearly died. There was some very hot sauce involved. But it’s not what you think. This sauce — it saved his life.

Schmitz was on vacation in Myrtle Beach last summer with his family. They went into a hot sauce emporium called The Pepper Palace. That’s where Schmitz decided to take a challenge and sample Flashbang. The makers bill it as the world’s hottest sauce.

He signed a waiver, dipped a toothpick in the sauce, tasted it and then went five minutes without drinking water.

“It was pretty darn hot, even though it was just a very, very tiny amount,” Schmitz tells As It Happens host Carol Off. “I was getting a real headache. I was just feeling really nauseous. So my wife walks me outside on the boardwalk and has me sit on a bench. Next thing I know I’m in a hospital on a stretcher covered in vomit and I had no clue what happened.”

What happened was that Schmitz had a seizure. He’d never had one before, so doctors gave him an MRI. That’s when they discovered a malignant brain tumour.

The seizure was linked to the tumour. But the tumour had been growing for years without Schmitz having any inkling it was there. So it’s likely that the sauce triggered the seizure.

“Technically there’s no 100 percent proof that it was the sauce that caused it,” Schmitz says. “But everyone, the doctors, everyone involved thinks that it did because it would just be a crazy, weird coincidence if I happened to randomly have it at that time.”

His doctors were able to remove the tumour. He’s since had five weeks of radiation. He’s now in his last month of chemotherapy — and he’s cancer-free.

There’s more at the link, including photographs.  Warm fuzzy reading.

It’s heartwarming – and, in this case, stomach-warming – to come across a report like that.  In this world of constant bad news and screaming headlines about irrelevancies like politicians, this sort of thing reminds us of what’s really important;  the ordinary lives of people like you and I.

(And no, I’m not about to try Flashbang hot sauce.  I’ve used too many of the real things in real life to take that word lightly!)



  1. I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 43 years. It was common knowledge that it you ate hot peppers, hot sauce, etc., you would never have worms.

    Urban myth?

    Who knows. But in those 43 years, nobody I knew in Santa Fe ever had worms, perhaps few other parasites.

    Mosquitoes never bothered me either.

  2. Youtube is rife with videos showing people trying various peppers and sauces on the Scoville-heavy end of the scale.

    Sometimes a little suffering is worth it, after all 🙂

  3. I never saw the point of consuming materials that could make you see through time, lol. I enjoy hot sauce, but when it isn't fun anymore, I quit

  4. Friend (looking through grad student apartment fridge): "You're certainly from Texas."

    LittleRed: "Whyzat?"

    Friend: "Because only a Texan would have six kinds of hot sauce and salsa."

    Well, yeah, some are for meat, some are for salad dressing, some are for New Mexican food, some are for . . .


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