Toxic mushrooms and fungi, their toxins and effects of poisoning

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A daily recommended article popped up on web-browser page. It was a previously published article from Field & Stream magazine (I also get notifications on Outside Magazine Online). It is useful information for those who like to hike in the woods and gather mushrooms or fungi.

7 Poisonous Mushrooms (or Fungi) and What Happens if You Eat Them
Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, toxin amanitin, which cause kidney and liver failure.Α-Amanitin

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, toxins ibotenic acid and muscimol, which act on the central nervous system. Poisoning temporary.

False Morel, Gyromitra esculenta, toxins gyromitrin and MMH, liver damage and failure for severe poisoning

Autumn Skullcap, Galerina marginata, toxin amanitin

Alcohol Inky, Coprinus atramentarius, toxin coprine, an amino acid that interacts with alcohol. Coprine, while not toxic itself acts on alcohol, which could induce alcohol poisoning, even if alcohol is consumed hours later.

Deadly Webcap, Cortinarius rubellus, toxin orellanine, a powerful mycotoxin, that causes
Kidney failure

Related fungi, Cortinarius orellanus, Cortinarius speciosissimus

Ergot, or Spurred Rye, Claviceps purpurea, toxin ergometrine and ergotoxine, and other alkaloids
History of ergot alkaloids from ergotism to ergometrine
Some interesting history on rye -
Another chemical is lysergic acid and derivatives

A very recent case in Quebec.
August 2020 - (en français, good time to learn some French)
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Growing up in a periodically damp climate in the San Francisco Bay Area, mushrooms and other fungi sprouted that closely resembled similar produce in grocery stores. Despite the natural abundance, most locals shunned consuming this seemingly inviting harvest. I would examine natural mushrooms taken from lawns and trees under a low power microscope which appeared identical to store bought but that I was warned contained highly toxic substances.

A large family of immigrants from Afghanistan IMS moved to the East Bay and reportedly scoffed at neighbors reluctance to consume these free foods. They harvested, cooked and ate wild greens such as mustard plant, dandelion and bay laurel without negative effect. The pater familias, an engineer, felt confident in his ability to identify edible fungi and add to the family larder. After gathering and serving a stew of 'morel' and tree mushrooms, the extended family with the exception of a young daughter who did not like fungi became deathly ill, many with liver failure. Local newspapers covered this tragedy including repeated warnings to avoid consuming wild fungi unless expertly identified as safe.

I knew a Central European couple who regularly harvested fungi growing under oak trees in the Santa Cruz mountains. Both had university level biology and mycology training. They spread spores from known sources on one hike then harvested the crop on later walks as they once did in Europe. Either their crop was infiltrated with lookalike toxic mushrooms or their introduced species developed toxins over time. IMS both neighbors became partially paralyzed with one succumbing to liver failure.

Local colleges and park rangers offered courses in identifying dangerous fungi in the wild, but the consensus was to avoid consuming found items when farmed safe produce was always available.
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