A puree made from these peppers – which are infamous for their off-the-charts level of spiciness – led to a rare, life-threatening condition in an otherwise healthy, 47-year-old man in California, according to a recent report of the man’s case.
Ghost peppers are among the hottest chili peppers in the world, the report said.
The surgeons repaired the man’s esophagus and re-inflated his lung, then placed him on a feeding tube so that his esophagus could heal.
The man’s condition, a “Spontaneous esophageal rupture,” which is also called Boerhaave syndrome, is “a relatively rare phenomenon,” said lead study author Dr. Ann Arens, who was aphysician in the department of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco at the time of the man’s case in the summer of 2015.
In other words, the man’s reaction to the ghost pepper, rather than the pepper itself, caused the rupture, Arens said.
His feeding tube was still in place when he was sent home, but Arens said the tube was only temporary, until the esophagus healed.
Arens noted that she was not the primary doctor in the ER who was caring for the patient; rather, she was contacted by the doctors treating the man, because they wanted to know if there were any “Antidotes” for hot peppers, she said.
“Unfortunately, there are no specific antidotes for hot peppers outside of the usual antacids,” Arens added.