9 Common Poisonous Mushrooms and their Toxicity

When foraging in the wild or after a disaster and it’s safe to go outside to look for food, edible mushrooms can be a good source of nourishment. But there are mushrooms that are not meant to be eaten. Be sure you know how to differentiate these from the edible ones.

These are 9 common poisonous mushrooms that you might come across when looking for food.

poisonous mushrooms

The Death Cap and Destroying Angel mushrooms contain a deadly toxin that almost always causes certain death to people who consumed the mushrooms. Signs of poisoning become apparent 6-24 hrs after eating the poisonous mushrooms and include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Symptoms can be severe like violent vomiting, acute cramping, and bloody diarrhea. Uneaten specimens or at least good photographs of the specimens should be provided to a bona fide expert for identification in case symptoms appear. Untreated cases cause death due to permanent debilitating liver/kidney damage. Even survivors never fully recover from permanent organ damage. (Americanmushrooms.com)

Sulfur tuft mushrooms cause mild to severe gastrointestinal irritation, generally the least troublesome form of mushroom poisoning. Symptoms appear within an hour but can at rare times appear in 4 hours. Symptoms may range from mild to acute: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms subside when the body gets rid of the meal but in severe cases, medical treatment and hospitalization are needed to maintain fluids and electrolyte balance. Death can occur from heart failure secondary to dehydration and electrolyte depletion, but this is rare. If you suspect mushroom poisoning, seek medical attention immediately and, if possible, take uncooked specimens with you! (Americanmushrooms.com)

Fly agaric mushrooms contain toxics that cause delirium, apparent innebriation, manic behavior, and a tendency to perceive small objects as very large. Some people who ate the mushroom exhibit a desire for intense physical activity; most experience a deep sleep, usually with visions. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. Symptoms appear half an hour to two hours after ingestion and last for up to four hours or more. The best treatment is moral support: reassure the victim that the effects of the poisonous mushrooms’ toxins are only temporary. (Americanmushrooms.com)

Livid Entoloma mushroom poisoning is mainly gastrointestinal in nature; symptoms include: diarrhea, vomiting and headache. Symptoms occur 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption and last for up to 48 hours. Acute liver toxicity and psychiatric symptoms like mood disturbance or delirium may occur. Rarely, symptoms of depression may last for months. At least one source reports there have been fatalities in adults and children. Hospital treatment of poisoning by this mushroom is usually supportive; antispasmodic medicines may lessen colicky abdominal cramps and activated charcoal may be administered early on to bind residual toxin. Intravenous fluids may be required if dehydration has been extensive, especially with children and the elderly. Metoclopramide may be used in cases of recurrent vomiting once gastric contents are emptied. (Wikipedia)

The main toxic component of Ivory Funnel is muscarine, and thus the symptoms are those of muscarine poisoning, namely greatly increased salivation, sweating (perspiration), and tearflow (lacrimation) within 15–30 minutes of ingestion. With large doses, these symptoms may be followed by abdominal pain, severe nausea, diarrhea, blurred vision, and labored breathing. Intoxication generally subsides within two hours. Death is rare, but may result from cardiac or respiratory failure in severe cases. The specific antidote is atropine. (Wikipedia)

The Cortinar and several other mushrooms in the genus Cortinarius are poisonous and cause acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. Some are lethal like Cortinarius rubellus and Cortinarius orellanus. These mushrooms contain the toxin orellanine which is easy to detect because it is fluorescent. (Wikipedia)

The Deadly Fibrecap’s name is no joke because it is lethally poisonous, even in small quantities. The mushroom contains high levels of the toxin muscarine which causes: blurred vision, increased salivation, excessive sweating, bronchial secretions, abdominal cramping, increased gastric acid secretion, diarrhea and polyuria. If muscarine reaches the brain it can cause tremor, convulsions and hypothermia. (Wikipedia)

Yellow staining mushroom poisoning symptoms include: are nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The signs appear shortly after eating. The severity of symptoms varies with the amount eaten. (Royal Botanic Gardens)

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