A toadstool is also another name for a mushroom. You may have known that but I personally thought toadstools meant, well, toad poo up until a few years ago. Before we continue; let it be a warning to you to never eat anything that looks like a mushroom in the wilderness, unless you have it examined by a professional mushroom hunter. It could be the last mushroom you ever devour.
Amanita ocreata (Angel of death)
The angel of death is a poisonous toadstool native to the Pacific Northwest and California floristic provinces. This toadstool likes growing near oak trees and is easily confused for other edible mushrooms.
After ingesting the angel of death you will not experience any symptoms for the first 6-12 hours. Entering the second stage you will begin to experience stomach pain, vomiting, and watery diarrhea caused byÂ phallotoxins. Severe liver and kidney damage begins at the end of the second stage and lasts 2-3 days. The chances of surviving the angel of death are 85-90%. If you are in fact lucky enough to survive you may require a liver transplant.
Hospitalization could be too late by the time the symptoms kick in. No antidote is available for the poisoning of amatoxins. The estimated lethal dose is 0.1 mg/kg, so the best treatment is to never eat deadly mushrooms.
Ingesting Silybum marianum (Blessed milk thistle) has been shown to lessen the effects of the toxin alpha-amanitin on the liver and help regrow damaged cells.
Amanita phalloides (Death cap)
The death cap is scattered across Europe and is usually found with broadleaved trees. They are easily confused with common mushrooms such as the straw mushroom. The death cap is one of the most deadliest toadstools and is the cause of the majority of deaths from poisonous mushrooms. Not only does the death cap look like the straw mushroom, but it is also reported to taste pleasant. Its primary toxins are a-amanitin and b-amantin which destroy the liver and kidneys. The results of eating this mushroom often ends in death.
Two or three days after ingestion you will be hit with an onset of vomiting, abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, dehydration, abnormally low blood pressure, high heart rate, low blood sugar, and acid-based disturbances. Once your liver becomes destroyed then you may suffer other symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, delirium, seizures, and coma due to substances in your blood which your liver can no longer remove. You may also experience kidney failure due to theÂ poisonousÂ toxins, or your inflamed liver. Some other symptoms that might occur include intracranial pressure, brain hemorrhage, pancreatitis, and cardiac arrest. The mortality rate of death cap poisoning is 22.4%. Death occurs six to sixteen days after poisoning.
Although hospitalization can offer supportive measures and other treatment, there is no antidote for this poisonous toadstool. Blessed milk thistle is believed to help protect cells from the destruction of a-amanitin.
The Death Cap may have been used to kill the Roman Emperor Claudius and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.
Amanita virosa (European destroying angel)
This deadly toadstool is found throughout Europe along deciduous and coniferous trees. The European destroying angel is similar to the death cap because its main toxin is also a-amanitin. As with the death cap this mushroom has similar symptoms including liver and kidney damage. The name Amanita virosa is derived from the Latin adjective vir?sus meaning toxic.
Amanita verna (Foolâ??s mushroom)
One of the deadliest toadstool subdues victims with its beautiful form. It is white all around and looks very harmless. That is how it got its name â??Foolâ??s mushroomâ?. This mushroom can be found across Europe. It packs a punch with a-amanitin toxins and phallotoxins.
You wonâ??t experience any symptoms within the first 6-24 hours of eating the foolâ??s mushroom. Afterwards you will feel a little uneasy, and may experience diarrhea and an upset stomach. Within the third day your kidneys and livers have failed, and you would die without a liver transplant.
The fatal dosage of Amanita verna is around 1oz. The best way to avoid death is to not be a fool, and always have a professional mushroom hunter examine all your toadstools before ingestion.
Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur tuft)
These mushrooms are also known as clustered woodlovers. They simply love to grow on stumps, deat roots, or rotting trunks. These â??woodloversâ? are common in northern Europe and North America.
Symptoms occur 5-10 hours after consumption. The usual diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting will follow shortly after. You may also experience foamy urine caused by an excess of serum proteins due to kidney failure. Most of the time symptoms resolve themselves and fatality is not common. This isÂ probablyÂ the best deadly mushroom to beÂ poisonedÂ by, although your urinary tract may not fare so well.
If you are interested in eating wild plants, would like to become a mushroom hunter, or can’t afford professional mushroom examination, then this article may be for you. Remember to make spore prints of your mushrooms, and stay safe while eatingÂ suspiciousÂ wild plants!
Article written byÂ Octavian Ristea.