Health hazards while picking mushrooms: risk of life-threatening mushroom poisoning

Health hazards while picking mushrooms: risk of life-threatening mushroom poisoning

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The rainy summer is a paradise for mushrooms. But there is a risk to life: be careful when looking for mushrooms. The green tuber agaric is easy to mix up - and that can be fatal.

Poison emergency call in full swing
The poison emergency call in the Berlin Charité is currently in full swing. The mushroom season starts and with it the warning of dangerous toadstools.

Poisoning from ignorance
Toxicologist Friedrike Wittchen says: "We are seeing an increase in cases that affect people who simply felt like picking mushrooms without knowing them."

Wrong warnings
One reason for the ignorance is the demonization of the toadstool. It is not only easy to recognize, but is also hallucinogenic rather than fatal. In order to be in serious danger, they would have to devour pots full of toadstools - however, a single specimen can be fatal for green tuber agaric.

Asylum seekers at risk
Asylum seekers are particularly affected. Many come from countries where there is no tuber agaric. They consider it edible mushrooms from their old homeland and thus endanger their lives.

Good taste
The deadly tuber agaric does not taste bad, and therefore those affected do not immediately recognize it as toxic.

Symptoms are deceptive
Diarrhea and vomiting occur after several hours. The tricky thing is: After that, the poisoned feel better and think prematurely that the poisoning is over.

Liver damage
However, the serious symptoms only start after one to four days. Then the poison damages the liver.

Nausea after mushroom eating? Alert doctor immediately
The MHH in Hanover clarifies with a poster in several languages ​​and advises to go to a clinic immediately if you suspect fungal poisoning.

Tuber agaric
The green tuber agaric is responsible for 90% of all fatal poisonings in Germany. The white tuber agaric is also fatally toxic, only the yellow tuber agaric does not threaten life - it is simply inedible.

Tuber agarics contain amanititin, a poison that damages the organs. That is why 50 grams of the mushroom can end life.

How can the toadstool be recognized?
A young green tuber agaric has a hat in the shape of a hemisphere. Later the hat turns olive to yellow-green. It has long white, later greenish slats. Its stem is very long and cylindrical, green or yellow.

White tuber agaric
The white tuber agaric can be confused with white mushrooms when young. Its slats are densely arranged and white, the stem long and white.

Typical smell
The green tuber agaric has white meat inside and smells pleasantly of honey.

Where do tuber agarics grow?
Tuber agarics grow in deciduous forests and parks from July to October, they prefer beech and acorn.

Pumping out the stomach?
The phallotoxins get into the blood just one hour after consumption. If you experience stomach pain and diarrhea the first symptoms it is too late to pump out your stomach.

How does the poisoning go?
The amatoxins work after four to six days. This results in liver and kidney failure, as well as internal bleeding and jaundice. Now only a liver transplant helps, otherwise death occurs after about ten days.

What to do?
The German Society for Mycology advises: "Only collect mushrooms that you know for sure. Only when you are certain after repeated determination of the knowledge do you think of the frying pan. "

Ask experts
The DgfM advises: "Have your mushrooms checked for edibility only by certified mushroom experts and ask him for his ID from the DgfM."

Inform yourself
You can also attend seminars on fungus determination that the DgfM offers. At least you should get a mushroom identification book and get to know the species before you process mushrooms.

Field trips
The NABU, adult education centers, game parks such as the bison enclosure in Springe or environmental offices offer guided mushroom excursions where you can get to know common edible and toadstools.

Slats, color, smell
Mushroom identification books not only show the mushroom species in pictures, but also provide information on how the mushroom smells, what color it is, where it grows and, above all, which poisonous species are to be confused with edible ones.

No finned mushrooms
There is a basic rule for beginners: Do not collect lamellar mushrooms. The killers among the mushrooms are primarily those lamellar mushrooms that can be confused with other lamellar mushrooms: bulbous mushrooms look very similar to mushrooms.

No mushrooms, chanterelles and stick sponges
You should initially avoid some of the most popular mushrooms: chanterelles, stick sponges, mushrooms and Hallimasch all have toxic doppelgangers.

Sponge mushrooms
Sponge mushrooms have no slats under the hat, but a sponge-like fabric. That is why they are called mushrooms in Bavaria. Here, even the most poisonous are only life-threatening in very large quantities, and only a few species are seriously poisonous, according to the Satan bolete.

No alcohol
The net-stalked bolete can be eaten, but becomes poisonous if we drink alcohol at the same time.

The Gall blush
Other sponge mushrooms taste bitter like bile: the burrowing bolete has a black net on the stem and a white to salmon-colored lining that "proliferates" under the hat rim and can be easily distinguished from edible mushrooms like chestnuts.

Which sponge mushrooms are edible?
Sponge mushrooms include some of the best edible mushrooms: porcini, chestnut boletus, birch mushrooms or red caps.

Easily recognizable?
The giant umbrella or parasol mushroom, which can be processed into breaded mushroom chips, can also be easily recognized. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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