Skip to main content

Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms

Introduction To Mushrooms:

As soon as mushrooms start appearing in the woods the newspapers begin to report stories about mushroom poisoning. IN spite of the warning provided by these news items, year after year there are accidental poisoning caused by mushrooms. Yet there is no family that does not read at least one newspaper, and there is hardly anyone unaware of these reports especially in the age of Internet. If these accidents continue to happen, with a frequency proportional to the number of mushrooms grown during a given season, it means that most people do not benefit from newspaper and internet reports: they get a little frightened but its soon forgotten and that is all. Most people do not pay attention to the shape and characteristics of the dangerous mushrooms and continue to rely blindly n their own intuition or on some arbitrary and misleading homemade tests.

Many human life could be saved if an addition to the reports the reports of poisoning accidents, the newspapers and internet articles publishers publish the description of the mushrooms responsible for poisoning, and list of first aid procedures to help victims of such accidents. This would be a relatively easy task since, in comparison with several hundred species of edible mushrooms; there are only about a dozen really dangerous species. The publishers willing to carry such a service for its readers would probably add to its prestige and sales.

Types Of Poisonous Mushroom

Deadly Mushrooms:

The most dangerous and the one responsible for most of the deaths resulting from mushroom poisoning is the Amanita phalloides, which is found very frequently in woods, in summer and autumn, especially in its forms or varieties viridisand viresens. The lethal dose for a man of medium size is twenty grams of fresh Amanita Phalloides. Mushrooms as poisonous as Amanita Phalloides are Amanita Bisporigera, Amanita verna, Amanita Virosa, Lepiota Helveola and Cortinarius orellanus; these species are less common than Amanita Phalloides and completely absent in some regions.

Some deaths have also been attributed to Gyromitra esculenta, in spite of the fact that its name, esculenta, means edible. Once exsiccated, this mushroom is completely harmless; but when it is fresh it is not well tolerated by everybody, especially if it is only slightly cooked, consumed with the water in which it has been cooked, and eaten in a large quantity. For some people it is particularly harmful when eaten in successive meals. But over the years it ha been sold in many markets and consumed without harm by many people. However, one should pay attention to how it is cooked. It should be parboiled in water first then cooked well. The juice produced by the mushroom while cooking should not be used; it is also advisable to eat only small quantities of it and wait at least four days before eating more. The symptoms of poisoning from eating the deadly amanitas become evident only some time after eating, from 8 to 40 hours. It begins with vomiting, diarrhea, heavy perspiration, and consequent insatiable thirst; the feet and hands become cold, calf cramp develops; the eyes look deep sunk, the face is drawn and pale, and sometimes yellow, as in jaundice. This is followed by a state of anxiety, deep prostration and an imperceptible pulsebeat; and eventually rattling, paralysis, convulsive spasms, death. All this can last from 10 to 20 days. Sometimes, during the first 48 hours, there might be a slight improvement, but then the illness continues its inexorable course. Prompt and proper care can save adult and robust people; but it is much more difficult to save children. Poisoning symptoms from Lepiota helveola, from Vortinarius orellanus and Gyromitra esculenta are fundamentally similar to those caused by the deadly amanitas; the cure is also essentially the same. The symptoms of intoxication due to Cortinarius orellanus become evident only very late, from 3 to 14 days, after eating this mushroom and although very similar to those caused by the Amanita phalloides, there are a few differences.

The cure for which only a physician can assume full responsibility, aims to eliminate the poisonous substances from the organism through an evacuation of the digestive system and a stimulation of kidney activity; it aim to calm the pain and sustain the general condition, especially the heart. The cure should specifically fight against suffocation, nervous depression, and organism dehydration; it must protect kidneys and liver, which are directly threatened y the toxic substances of the mushrooms. Choline and thioctic acid are found very useful in protecting the live in cases of mushroom poisoning.

Mushrooms harmful to the nervous system: Amanita musaria, Amanita pantherina, Inocybe Patouillardi, Clytocibe dealbata, and species related to them. In several areas of Italy, France, and Russia, Amantita muscaria is consumed regularly without harm, but one must consider that this might be due partly to the fact that often this mushroom is eaten after first being treated, which reduces its poison leel, and partly to the fact that the amount of toxic principle contained in this mushroom varies depending on the area and the season. Still we believe it better to avoid this mushroom.

Luckily, the symptoms of intoxication caused by this group of mushrooms show up quickly: from half an hour to four hour after eating them. The principle symptoms are: abundant secretion of saliva, of nasal mucus, and tears; slowing down of the pulse and a sensation of suffocation. In these instances the doctor should administer a good laxative, some diuretic beverages in large quantities, including tea and coffee but not alcoholic beverages, and sometimes an injection of atropine if the subject is particularly weak.

Russula emetic is another mushroom containing substances toxic to the nervous system; but since its ingestion causes immediate vomiting, the subject eliminate the toxic principles and there are no other consequences. At the same time it is so acrid to the taste that it is almost important to eat a large and dangerous amount of it.

Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms

Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms With White Or Cream Spores:

Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms With White Or Cream Spores:

Harmful Effects Of Poisonous Mushroom

Mushrooms Harmful To The Digestive System:

A mushroom that is known to cause serious intoxication and also lethal, although rarely, is Entoloma lividum. Those that can cause a strong intoxication include: Tricholoma pardimum, virgatum, and groanense, Clitocybe olearia, Boletus Satanas, and purpureus, Clavaria Formosa, and pallid, psalliota xanthoderma can cause a weak intoxication. The less these mushrooms are cooked the more serious is the resulting intoxication. Within one hour from ingestion the subject experiences nausea, colic, vomiting, diarrhea, and fainting. The cure is essentially identical to that used for poisoning by Amanita muscaria.

Mushrooms Harmful When Eaten Raw:

Almost all mushrooms belonging to the genera Peziza, Morchella, Helvella, those related to them and a few other species, such as Amanita rubescens and Rhodopaxillus nudus. The cure is essentially identical to that for poisoning by Amanita muscaria. Sometimes the symptoms of the poisoning are slight and disappear spontaneously in a short time. Several other mushrooms belonging to the genera Russula and Lactarius are also toxic when eaten raw; but their taste, acrid and bitter, is sufficient to prevent people from eating them. Once cooked, they often lose not only their disgusting taste but also their toxic properties. Sometimes fermentation is sufficient to destroy the toxic substances: this method is used in different parts of East Europe and the people in those places eat, after the mushrooms are fermented, not only Lactarius torminosus, Lactarius piperatus, and Lactarius plumbeus, which are acrid when raw, but also Lactarius rufus, which, when eaten raw, has a taste that can only be described as a very hot fire. The collector of edible mushrooms could follow a simple rule when picking russulas and lactarii, and that is to discard, when in doubt, all the specimens with acrid or bitter flavor, and to consider edible all the others, provided they are not too ripe or infested by larvae.

Coprinus Atramentarius:

This is an edible mushroom which, however, can be quite harmful to some people, especially when one drinks alcoholic beverages or sometime even coffee or tea, while or after eating it. The most characteristic symptom is a deep reddening of the face, together with an acceleration of the pulse, a loss of strength and a cooling of hands and feet. These disturbances are not dangerous; they last only a short time and disappear without further consequence.

Coprinus Atramentarius- Poisonous Mushroom

Coprinus Atramentarius Mushroom:

Coprinus Atramentarius Mushroom:

Poisonous Mushroom- First Aid

First Aid While Waiting For The Doctor:

The proper cure requires the knowledge of the species of mushroom ingested by the poisoned person. Often the poor victim does not know their name himself. Therefore, at times, to identify the suspect mushroom it is necessary to examine the parts discarded in the garbage can, the remains left after the meal or even the vomit itself. As for vomiting, it is useful to remember that it is absolutely useless to induce it, if more than 8-10 hours have elapsed since the ingestion of the mushrooms, because the mushrooms are probably no longer in the stomach but in the intestine.

Scroll to Continue

While waiting for the doctor, one could administer a laxative; but if the poisoned person has strong visceral pains, use castor oil instead of a salt type laxative, and use only a moderate dose: 30 grams for an adult, 15 grams for a child. You can administer beverages, even in large doses, such as milk, water with sugar, water with salt; or even tea or coffee, but in moderate doses. Keep the patient well covered quiet and in a warm place.

If the mushroom ingested id the Amanita phalloides, take the patient to the hospital immediately, but in the meantime even before he reaches the hospital give him, every half an hour, a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of water.

  • Complete Mushroom guide
    Learn more about mushrooms in this comprehensive guide, about the history of mushrooms, preservation of mushrooms......


MycoPhage on November 16, 2016:

That poster, for one thing, lists many very-much EDIBLE mushrooms. Chanterelle (cantherellus) is NOT toxic, pleurotus (oyster mushroom) EDIBLE, Lactarius deliciosus is edible, trichloma magnivelare is edible, etc, etc, etc.

The pic you call Coprinus Atramentarius is coprinus comatus, shaggy mane. The one coprinus/inky cap that will not make you ill if you ingest alcohol.

Dr.Naingthar Myint on May 27, 2016:

Very nice to know the types of poisonous mushrooms,

and I want to know about the Bioluminescent mushrooms

Laura on February 08, 2014:

Look delicous.

tandin wangmo on May 17, 2013:

i like this very much.thank you for your information.

dr.ehab on September 07, 2012:

pls i have a mushroom type growing in my garden ..yellowish and colonies ...can i send u a pict to help identify and say if it is or is not poisonous ..

my email:

Brianna on August 08, 2012:

thanks for the info bubby

Robin Anderson from United States on November 10, 2011:

SHUT UP! I have recently discovered this site for identification in the last month. Love your photograph.

Related Articles