Talk:Mushroom poisoning

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Initial article based on Anurel Dermek's Handbook Guide on Mushrooms (1981, trans. 1984). --Menchi 05:17, 8 May 2004 (UTC)


It may be more magazine-like in tone this article but how can one have a non-NPOV on mushroom poisoning? I for one found the contents to be both useful and fascinating. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


I'm thinking there's a LOT of information that this page could contain, but doesn't. Doesn't appear to be anywhere else on Wikipedia either. In no particular order:
List of known mushroom toxins
Information on prevalence of mushroom toxicity, and "typical cases" of toxicity for the common toxic mushrooms
Brief overview of treatment/prevention of mushroom toxicity
Brief discussion of "poisoning" from "non-toxic" mushrooms: usually food poisoning or indigestion.
Brief discussion of "allergies" or "intolerance" - the sporadic cases of "poisoning" from normally edible species
Also, the "Guidelines" are duplicated and more detailed on the page on Mushroom Hunting. We should probably have them in one place or the other and link them, not duplicate the same information in two places.
The section on Folklore is good, and should be linked from the Mushroom Hunting page, and expanded if possible.
Also, the note that saying Amanitas in the photo are "too young to be identified" simply isn't true. At that stage all the important features should be readily visible. In the "egg" stage they closely resemble puffballs (I've even been fooled until I actually picked it up), and shortly after that they superficially resemble Agaricus spp. I think I've got a good photo of the "amanita egg" somewhere, if I do I'll post it.
Lots of other small errors - milk thistle seems to protect liver tissue from damage but has not (yet) been shown to do anything in restoring damaged liver tissue. I think my reference is still in my desk at my old job but I'll dig something up.
I'll probably tackle this article sometime in the next few weeks. I'll be checking here for comments, suggestions, and corrections... Revdrace 19:34, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Bye bye guidelines[edit]

You've probably noticed that "Guidelines" is gone, replaced by "Causes of mushroom poisoning." Why? Because an encyclopedia article on mushroom poisonings should give facts about mushroom poisonings, not an opinion on the best ways to avoid becoming a victim. The truth is that I haven't removed the "guidelines" at all, but they are now transformed into cases that I think drive home the point "be SURE of your identification!" far better than some WikiGnome warning you to do so. It also, I think, gives the article that sought-after encyclopaedic tone.

I removed the warning, "Alcohol consumption should be limited when eating wild mushrooms positively identified as edible, but not consumed before[citation needed]" There is one unsubstantiated article reporting a problem with alcohol and morels from 1968, otherwise there seems to be no more problem with heavy drinking and wild mushrooms than there is with heavy drinking and anything else (apart from Coprinus of course). I also left out the warning about mixing toxic and edible mushrooms due to possible fragments of toxic mushrooms in with the edibles, because I couldn't think of a good way to work it in.

And I finally replaced the photo at the top. Those mushrooms in the "immature mushroom" photo are readily identifiable as Amanita spp., and with the large fluffy warts visible on the specimen to the upper right, we can safely say that they would've been clearly identifiable. I thinik the appropriate photo for the top of the mushroom toxicity page is the mushroom responsible for most (some say 90%) of the mushroom-related deaths worldwide. The "immature mushroom" photo is recycled to compare with the photo of shaggy manes below.

This page has come a *long* way since I posted in December. Great work, everyone! Can the WikiWizards take another look at this page and see if it can get its "cleanup needed" tag removed? (Revdrace (talk) 21:34, 4 August 2008 (UTC))

Great new additions to this entry! They've really improved it a lot, and I concur that "guidelines" have no place in an encyclopedia, so doing away with them is the way to go. I also think that the clean-up tag can be removed now. Thanks!!Malljaja (talk) 13:45, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Symptoms and Toxins[edit]

Thanks Malljaja! This is the second half of the major revisions I've been planning for a while.

Toxins and their symptoms belong together. There isn't really a list of "general" symptoms of mushroom poisoning any more than there is a "general" list of symptoms for "household chemical poisoning" The symptoms depend on what kind of mushroom was eaten. I liked having a short, readable list of toxins, so I've kept that up top. I have not tried to make a complete profile of each toxin, just a short, relatively simple explanation of what happens to you when you eat one of these things.

I have a couple of minor revisions still in mind, but that's the major ones. Thanks to the WikiGnomes for fixing my typos too... I'm a terrible speller. Revdrace (talk) 17:24, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

PS: can we just remove the (Magazine) tag, or does some WikiAuthority have to do that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Revdrace (talkcontribs) 18:19, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Changes to the List, etc[edit]

Rearranged folklore section to be a list of myths and examples which establish that they are not true. I think this reads better.

Comments on the effects of the toxins moved from "List of Poisonous Mushrooms" to "Toxins and their symptoms." This list seems to have trouble deciding if it is or isn't a list of deadly fungi. Since Wiki already has a "List of Deadly Fungi," I suggest that it should NOT list the deadly species, and stick to the poisonous (but usually not deadly) mushrooms. Changed title to "Poisonous mushrooms" so as to avoid the temptation to include all toxic fungi (ergot, molds, Aspergillus, etc.)

Removed from A. muscaria: "poisonings rare, possibly because its unique and obvious appearance make it easily identifiable;" This is not true. Several cases are reported every year in the NAMA Toxicology Committee report, which is not at all "rare" by mushroom poisoning standards. In button form they are easily mistaken for puffballs, and the species ranges in color from pallid yellow to olive brown to the familiar apple red. This polymorphism makes it surprisingly difficult to identify, for all its familiarity.

Removed "but in higher quantities" from A. pantherina: my understanding is that the problem is NOT that pantherina simply contains more ibotenic acid, it simply seems to be more toxic than hallucinogenic. Perhaps it contains more muscarine, but I have not seen an explanation for the effect.

Entoloma: Note that some sources say muscarine is the toxin, but the symptoms don't fit. Most sources say "a gastrointestinal irritant."

Tricholoma tigrinum: arguably the same mushroom as Tricholoma pardinum and almost certainly the same toxin. Removed "no lasting effect after 2 to 6 hours of great pain" : very poetic but not very specific. Symptoms taken from Wiki page on Tricholoma pardinum, I don't have access to the references to check them.

Boletus pulcherrimus: the Wiki reports and references the death associated with this fungus. I don't have access to the reference to check it.

Removed B. rhodoxanthus from the list, as I can find no references to its edibility or toxicity. Same problem with Agrocybe -- I think that Agrocybe themselves are not toxic, but are easily confused with toxic species such as Hebelomas. If these are toxic species, please provide a reference.

There are lots of other mushrooms that belong on this list, particularly the toxic Agaricus, Russula, and Lactarius species.

Oh, yeah, and I removed the "magazine" tag. The Wiki Rules seem to say that anyone can add it, so presumably anyone can also remove it. Revdrace (talk) 11:00, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Russula, Agaricus, Lactarius, etc.[edit]

Added a few to the List. Apologies for the repetitive references, but if the list gets rearranged I want it to be clear which species are from which reference. Revdrace (talk) 18:58, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Very misleading[edit]

The article says Psilocybin and psilocin are the active toxins in the Psilocybe genus. Niether drug is toxic, their LD50 is greater than that of caffeine (higher LD50=Lower toxicity). This should really be adressed.--Metalhead94 (talk) 18:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Most "toxins" aren't fatal. Coprine is very unlikely to kill you, either. I get your point - that many people consider the effects of psilocybin (and caffeine) to be pleasant, but both would be considered "toxins" from a medical standpoint. Whether it is a "toxin" or not from a layman's standpoint depends really on two things: whether the individual who ingested it did so on purpose, and whether or not they enjoyed it. My inclusion of it on the list of mushroom toxins doesn't mean that most people won't have a thoroughly wonderful time during their "intoxication" - just that these mushrooms contain a chemical with a notable physiologic effect. Revdrace (talk) 18:41, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

I know what you are saying. I doubt a psilocybin "trip" would be very enjoyble if one ingested it by accident.--Metalhead94 (talk) 10:07, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Folk traditions[edit]

Hi! I know a folk tradition that poisonous mushrooms have a skirt.--MathFacts (talk) 23:41, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

- Interesting. Most of the lethal species do, as do several delicious edibles, but the skirt can be easily lost. As far as these guidelines go, it's SLIGHTLY more in touch with reality than the others, but those rings fall off easily enough that this one could claim a victim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Milk thistle and alpha-amanitin[edit]

Does anyone have access to the 2004 PDR For Herbal Medicines referenced for the statement "...including a study in which 60 patients exposed to death cap poison were given 20 mg/kg of milk thistle seeds per day within 48 hours of consuming the deadly mushrooms. None of the patients died."

I have a problem with this statement as it doesn't seem to me like a PDR would be the right place for publishing this sort of research. What does " to death cap poison..." mean, exactly? Was it people who presented at a hospital with amanitin poisoning symptoms, or instead people exposed to tiny doses of it? It sounds like pseudoscience. I have no problems with the previous, properly referenced paragraph, which states that "Recently, Silybum marianum or blessed milk thistle has been shown to protect the liver from amanita toxins and promote regrowth of damaged cells..." MFdeS (talk) 03:05, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Ok, since there's been no comment for 6 weeks I'll remove the paragraph.MFdeS (talk) 03:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)