Mushroom Poisoning

Discussion in 'Magic Mushroom hunting' started by Smarthead, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    Experimenting with wild mushrooms in any genera can be dangerous even for an avid mushroom hunter. Be sure to thoroughly read this guide before attempting to journey into a field looking for any of the entheogenic mushroom species described in this guide.

    Mushrooms come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. There is no guaranteed method outside of a field guide or the knowledge of a trained mycologist to determine exactly what species of mushroom one might come across. Many species of poisonous mushrooms sometimes macroscopically resemble and/or mimic their hallucinogenic cousins.

    Ingestion of some species of toxic non-psychoactive mushrooms will cause the body to flush itself through the bowels and cause severe vomiting. Extreme cramps varying from mild to severe discomfort usually occur after the ingestion of a toxic mushroom species. The author suggests that it would be dangerous for a novice mushroom hunter to consume even the most minute part of any wild mushroom without having had said mushroom properly identified by someone knowledgable in the field of mushroom identification.



    A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOME PSILOCYBIAN MUSHROOM POISONINGS


    Ancient and/or historic evidence of cerebral mycetisms induced by the accidental ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms has been documented in various parts of the world. Early reports of intoxication attributed to the unintentional consumption of these fungi come from China as early as the 3rd century A.D., Japan during the eleventh century A.D., Great Britain in both l799 and in the early l800's, in the United States around the early l900's and in France in the early l960's.

    It is of interest to note that a report from Japan indicated that there were over 366 accidental ingestions of psilocybin mushrooms reported in l929; these incidents were reported by people foraging for wild edible mushrooms.

    In Africa during the l940's a number of unintentional intoxications occurred when mind-altering mushrooms were inadvertently sold as a source of food by children in public markets.

    It must be noted that outside of a few intoxications caused by Psilocybe cubensis (in Africa), and one caused by Psilocybe semilanceata (in England in the late 1700's), the majority of all intoxications which occurred prior to the recreational use of these species, were caused by various species of Panaeolus with the exception of Japan and the Northeastern United States, where some of the inebriations were the result of ingesting various species of both Gymnopilus and Panaeolus species.

    Published reports describing symptoms attributed to Panaeolus intoxications, were often written in a similar manner. Subjective effects included:

    "...drowsiness, lightheadedness, an inability to walk, a staggering gait, giggliness, much hilarity, inappropriate speech, uncontrollable laughter, euphoria and acting as if one were on a bender." On the other hand, occasionally terrifying, visual and psychological disturbances have been known to result from accidental or deliberate ingestion of Psilocybe cubensis and P. semilanceata, which sometimes resulted in emergency room treatment.

    In a paper published in 1958, Dr. Sam Stein briefly mentioned similar observations when Panaeolus and Psilocybe fungi were used in the treatment of a single patient. Mushroom extracts used by Dr. Stein were obtained from dried specimens of Panaeolus venenosus (=Panaeolus subbalteatus), and Psilocybe caerulescens. Further investigations were carried out in 1959 by Stein and some of his colleagues who revealed that the subjective effects caused by the ingestion of Panaeolus species were more tranquil and less hallucinogenic than the effects produced by the ingestion of certain species of Psilocybe.

    The fear of poisoning by physically toxic mushrooms is the main cause of mycophobia (a fear of mushrooms) throughout the world. Many of the deadly poisonous species of mushrooms macroscopically resemble some of the hallucinogenic mushrooms in the genus Psilocybe. For example, three species of deadly poisonous Galerina's, and Conocybe filaris, which are extremely poisonous mushrooms, are commonly found in mulched gardens in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and other regions of the world, and have been observed sharing the same habitat as Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe cyanescens, and Psilocybe stuntzii (for example, see the above photographs of both Psilocybe stuntzii and Psilocybe cyanescens pictured together with some members of the deadly Galerina family.

    Another example of misidentification involves Chlorophyllum molybdites, a species commonly referred to as "green gills" or "Morgans" Lepiota. As the nick-name implies, the gills of this species are green. This occurs with age. This mushroom is rather large with a scaly cap which resembles a parasol. This species is common in manured fields, meadows and lawns and does not grow directly in manure but may be found in manured fields where cattle and water buffalo graze.

    According to Stephen Peele, curator of the Florida Mycology Research Center, it is often picked and accidently consumed in Florida; usually mistaken for Psilocybe cubensis (personal communication to J.W. Allen). Chlorophyllum molybdites is considered toxic but not deadly.

    Peele also claimed that in Tampa, Florida, over 90% of all mushroom poisonings were the result of accidently consuming specimens of C. molybdites which were mistaken for Psilocybe cubensis.

    While two children in California developed a "mydriasis-fever-convulsions" syndrome after ingesting mushrooms taken from a lawn habitat, another in the state of Washington was reported to have died due to complications following the suspected consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Also, three children were reportedly mildly poisoned after accidentally grazing on lawn specimens of Panaeolina foenisecii (a non-hallucinogenic mushroom). Later investigations of Panaeoliuna foenisecii by Allen and Merlin (1992b), reported that this species is not psychoactive.

    A sixteen year old girl from Whidbey Island, Washington did die in December l981 after accidentally picking and eating several fresh specimens of Galerina autumnalis. She and her two teenage male companions had assumed that they ingested Psilocybe mushrooms.

    It is thus possible that young children may be susceptible to convulsions following the consumption of some varieties of psilocybian mushrooms. However, the world renown Mazatec curandera María Sabina and her sister María Ana, made famous by the writings of the Wassons' and others, both first ate these hallucinogenic mushrooms somewhere between the ages of 7-9, and María Sabina continued to do so for over 70 years without any apparent physical illness. Also, R. Gordon Wasson and his wife Valentina, allowed their 19-year-old daughter Masha to eat mushrooms apparently without ill effect.

    Even a professional mycologist must be quite careful when deciding which wild mushrooms may be safe for human consumption. For example, some mushrooms, which are common and edible in Europe, can be deadly poisonous or harmful enough to cause physical damage when collected and consumed in the United States, Canada, or even Australia. In 1978, Jonathan Ott reported that the "Ld50 (lethal dosage) in mice for psilocybin has been determined to be 280 mg/kg, oral ingestion", thereby assuming that a person of average weight (i.e. 70 kg/155 lb) person, "would have to ingest l9.6 grams of [the extracted chemical] psilocybin to produce death." However, in 1989, Dr. Karl L. R. Jansen at the University of Auckland stated that he believes that "the LD50 (the dose at which 50% of a sample will die) has been determined as 280 mg/kg in mice. However, it is not valid to calculate the LD50 for humans by a simple percentage/weight calculation. Mice and humans have very different metabolic rates and dispose of drugs in different ways. It is unlikely that even a large number of psilocybine mushrooms would not be toxic in humans, but we cannot suggest an exact figure from data based on rodent studies."




    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A POISONOUS MUSHROOM


    The first family of poisonous mushrooms which should be avoided belong to the genus Amanita and produce white spores and a white sporeprint. Remember that Psilocybe species produce chocolate-brown to purple-brown spores and sporeprints. Copelandia and Panaeolus species produce black spores and sporeprints.

    Amanita species have caps which are scaley. Their stems have a ring near the top of the stem and a large bulbous base at the bottom which may or may not resemble an egg. They are usually found in association with pine and birch trees. Amanita species contain amatoxins and phalatoxins. They will consume your kidney and liver within 5 to 7 days after ingestion and are usually fatal. Many species of the genus Galerina also contain some of the same toxins found in the deadly Amanitas. They too are also very deadly. Some species of Galerina are macroscopically similar to several varieties of Psilocybe mushrooms. The caps of Galerina species vary from chestnut orange to orange rusty-brown. They have a slight ring appearing on their stem. The color of the spores and sporeprint are a rusty orange brown and their habitat includes woodchips, bark mulch and lawns. In the Pacific Northwest, some species of Galerina have been observed fruiting in and around specimens of Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe stuntzii and Psilocybe baeocystis. As noted above, in 1982, two teen-aged boys and a 16-year-old girl became seriously ill after consuming Galerina mushrooms which they mistook for a species of Psilocybe. The young girl failed to receive proper medical attention in time because she feared that she and her friends, who also became ill, would be prosecuted for their illegal activities involving the illicit use of the mushrooms. Both boys survived the ordeal, yet both have permanent damage to their kidneys and liver. The girl died.

    Many species of wild mushrooms are known to contain muscarine, a toxin, which when eaten, will cause profuse sweating, severe stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. It is always a good idea to have in ones possession, a book on edible and poisonous mushrooms when collecting in the wild. Recently, a newly reported species of Galerina from Germany Galerina steglichii Besl was identified as a psilocybian mushroom. This in itself is a good reason not to collect Galerina or Inocybe species because of their relationship to many toxic species which contain either amatoxins and or large amounts of muscarine.

    Since individual humans have different metabolisms, only a small amount of mushrooms should be ingested during an initial experience. After a 24-72 hour period, one can increase or decrease the amount ingested until a desired dosage feels comfortable.

    Furthermore, any wild collected mushroom which the consumer has suspicions about the identification of such a species, may take them to an expert mycologist at any university or college with either a mycology or botany department. Teachers and students will be more than happy to properly identify any mushroom brought to them for identification.
     
  2. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    PSYCHOACTIVE EFFECTS OF PSILOCYBIAN MUSHROOMS


    Symptoms produced by eating fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms begin to occur within 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion (or from 5 to 10 minutes when prepared in the form of tea or soup). Symptoms persist for up to four to six hours after ingestion. In 1960, Clinical effects studied by Hollister et al. (1962) for psilocybine intoxication in humans was reported as being:

    "0-30 minutes - Slight nausea, giddiness (light-headed), abdominal discomfort, weakness, muscle aches and twitches, shivering, anxiety, restlessness, and a numbness of lips.

    30-60 minutes - Visual effects (blurring, brighter colors, sharper outlines, longer after-images, visual patterns with closed eyes). Increased hearing, yawning, sweating, facial flushing. Decreased concentration and attention, slow thinking, feelings of unreality, depersonalization, dreamy state. Inco-ordination, tremulous speech.

    60-120 minutes - Increased visual effects (colored patterns and shapes, mostly with eyes closed). Wave-motion of viewed surfaces. Impaired distant perception. Euphoria, increased perception, and a slowed passage of time.

    120-240 minutes - Waning and nearly complete resolution of above effects. Returning to normal within 4-12 hours. Other effects often include: Decreased salivation and appetite; uncontrollable laughter; transient sexual feelings and synesthesias (e.g., `seeing' sounds)."

    For comparison with the clinical experience described above, the following is an excerpt from one of R. Gordon Wasson's experience with psilocybin mushrooms:

    "The mushrooms take effect differently with different persons. For example, some seem to experience only a divine euphoria, which may translate itself into uncontrollable laughter. In my case I experienced hallucinations. What I was seeing was more clearly seen than anything I had seen before. At last I was seeing with the eye of the soul, not through the coarse lenses of my natural eyes. Moreover, what I was seeing was impregnated with weighty meaning: I was awe-struck."
     
  3. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    TREATMENT FOR PSILOCYBIAN MUSHROOM POISONING


    The major dangers associated with psilocybin poisonings are primarily psychological in nature. Anxiety or panic states ("bad trips"), depressive or paranoid reactions, mood changes, disorientation and an inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy may occur.

    Recommended treatment for this type of poisoning should always be primarily supportive. Mycologist Dr. Joseph Ammirati of the University of Washington and his colleagues claim that "no specific treatment can be recommended for psilocybin poisoning in humans". Other doctors have "stress[ed] the importance of measures to reduce absorption of the toxins involved". This involves either, e.g., gastric lavage or emesis Lincoff & Mitchell, 1977; Rumack & Saltzman, 1978; Smith, 1978).

    Emesis. 15-30 cc of ipecac syrup followed by large amounts of oral liquids (500 cc).

    Supportive treatment: i.e. the "talk-down" technique is the preferred method for handling "bad trips". It involves non-moralizing, comforting, personal support from an experienced individual. This is further aided by limiting external stimulation such as intense light or loud sounds and letting the person lie down and perhaps listen to soft music.

    Tranquilizers need only be used in extreme situations and are generally not considered to be necessary. Diazepam, 0.1 mg/kg in children, up to 10 mg in adults, may be used to control seizures.

    According to Dr. Rick Strassman of the University of New Mexico, anti-psychotics have gone out of favor for the treatment of `bad trips'. Specifically, medicines with anti-cholinergic side effects, such as chlorpromazine, should not be given as these mushrooms can have marked anti-cholinergic effects of their own.

    In 1988, Dr. Jansen noted that cases which present medically fall into several groups:

    Those who have taken the drug with little knowledge of hallucinogens and in the absence of sensible persons who can take care of them. These are more likely to be adolescents. They may self-present but are more often brought for medical attention by their parents.

    Those who fall as a result of impaired balance or muscle weakness and are knocked out or otherwise injured as a result.

    Those who are having a `bad trip'. These may involve acute anxiety and panic, depression, paranoid reactions, disorientation and an inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

    Cases of idiosyncratic physical reactions such as cyanosis.

    Those with recurring phenomena after the mushroom effects should have passed, including prolonged psychosis.

    When the history is clear and the signs are suggestive of psilocybian intoxication, it is best not to artificially empty the stomach either by emesis with ipecac or by lavage. Treatment shows that emptying the stomach had no effect on the duration or intensity of the experience once psychological manifestations had properly commenced. Dr. Jansen maintains that unless there is a reason to suspect that a more toxic fungus has been ingested, or if the patient is a young child, induced emesis is not necessary, not helpful and may make the situation much worse if the patient is already aggressive and agitated.

    Other doctors have also speculated that a lavage is not merited if psilocybian mushrooms have been positively identified as the source of discomfort. It has also been suggested that "gastric intubation can be difficult in these young patients who are often already distressed and not infrequently aggressive. Furthermore the mushrooms may block the standard lavage tubes [used] for drug overdoses."

    The inherent danger from the ingestion of wild mushrooms lies not so much in the consumption of an hallucinogenic variety, but rather in the picking and eating of a toxic species which might resemble an hallucinogenic variety.

    Dr. Gastón Guzmán (and his colleagues wrote that "field and laboratory studies strongly indicate that psychoactive mushroom use as it normally occurs does not constitute a drug abuse problem or a public health hazard" (Guzmán et al., 1976). In addition, a recent survey conducted among college students in California, suggests that "the low frequency and few negative effects of [hallucinogenic mushroom] use indicate that abuse does not present a social problem, nor is there evidence for predicting the development of a problem" Thompson et al., 1985).
     
  4. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    In 1973, Dr. Hall was the Principal Research Officer of the Narcotics Section of the Commonwealth Police Force in Canberra. Dr. Hall had also reported that several drug users had been experiencing recurring `flashbacks' from mushrooms that were similar to `flashbacks' which were associated with LSD consumption.

    According to Dr. Karl L. R. Jansen, there is not any firm evidence that mushroom `flashbacks' can occur. Researchers in 1983, have reported that out of 318 specific cases of Psilocybe intoxications occurring in England between l978-l981, 21 patients experienced `flashback phenomena of some form' for up to four months after ingestion", and also mentioned that some of these were the result of drug synergy and polydrug abuse. "...However, with such a controversial phenomena as `flashbacks', it is necessary to specify precisely what form these do take, so that they may be distinguished from psychological stress reactions wrongly attributed to past drug use." Dr. Hall also pointed out that "if solutions of mushroom extracts were injected intravenously, the results could be very serious." There are no known cases of such injections, and it seems extremely unlikely that anyone would attempt this.
     
  5. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    Chocolate to Purple Colored Spores and Sporeprints



    In order to properly identify and key a particular species of fungi to its genus one must first make a sporeprint. A sporeprint will tell which family a particular species of mushroom belongs to. First cut the stem from off of the mushroom cap and then place the cap of the mushroom face down on a piece of white paper. Next place an empty jar over the cap of the mushroom. This will allow the spores of the mushroom to settle on the paper below and the glass jar will keep the spores from blowing away. After 20 minutes or more, remove the jar from the paper and lift the mushroom cap from the paper.

    Psilocybian mushrooms described in this guide can be identified by an enzyme which occurs in fungi containing the alkaloids psilocybin and/or psilocin, with an indole nucleus and producing by an oxidative process, a blue pigment.

    When the flesh of the stem or cap of a fresh mushroom is bruised or damaged (whether from human handling, wind, insects or falling objects), an enzyme occurs which oxidises as it comes into contact with air. This causes the damaged area of the mushroom to turn blue or blue green. Many species of psilocybian fungi have stems ranging in color from a pallid yellow white to an off white. Bluing in psilocybian mushrooms is common after damage has occurred. The bluing reaction occurs within 10 to 20 minutes after human handling but may already be noticible in fungi damaged from natural elements and from bluing with aging.

    The genus Psilocybe is quite large, consisting of over 246 known species. More than 114 of these Psilocybe species are entheogenic. Psilocybe species have a wide variety of habitats which include: dung, manured soil, sandy soil, pastures, meadows, lawns, woods, among decayed twigs and leaves, spaghnum moss, woodchips and bark mulch.

    Psilocybe species have certain characteristics common throughout the genus. These include: a conic to bell shaped cap, usually with a nipple or umbo at the top. The margins of the caps are often incurved when young. Some caps become convex and flat with age, others become wavy. The caps are viscid when moist and the margin is translucent-striate (meaning that the lines of the gill plates are visable on the caps when moist). Psilocybe species have a viscid pellicle (a film or membrane which can easily be separated from the cap).

    Colors of the caps may range from a dark olive brown or chestnut rusty color when fresh to pale yellow when dried. The caps are hygrophanous, meaning that they change color as they dry. A slight bluing may occur along the outer edges of the caps when damaged. In some species this bluing is very intense. The color of the gills may range from cinnamon brown to dark chocolate or purple brown. The color of the spores are also chocolate to purple brown. The stems are hollow with a fine pith.

    Some species such as Psilocybe semilanceata (the "liberty cap") can be wrapped around the finger like a piece of string. Certain varieties (psilocybe cubensis and/or Psilocybe subcubensis, Psilocybe fimetaria and Psilocybe stuntzii) usually have a dark chocolate-purple ring around the top of the stem where the mushroom cap has detached itself from the stem. The purple color of the ring on the stems of some Psilocybe species is due to spores falling on the stem after the cap of the mushrooms has opened. The color of the stems may range from a pallid yellow or yellow-brown to olive brown while other species have pure white stems. Bluing on the white stemmed varieties is usually very intense. In some regions, some species occur throughout the year depending on their locations and and climatic environments.

    There are, of course, certain chemical applications used to speed up the bluing reaction which occurs in psilocybian mushrooms. One method involves "metol", a chemical used in photographic developing. "Metol" can be legally purchased from any camera and photographic supply outlet. Mix 1 part Metol with 20 parts water. Place the stem of the suspected mushroom in a "metol" solution and wait for approximately 1/2 hour. If the solution turns blue, you have actually collected a mushroom containing psilocybin.

    Black Colored Spores and Sporeprints



    If the sporeprint is jet black, then the mushroom belongs to one of the following genera: Panaeolus and/or Copelandia. Coprinus (shaggy Mane) and/or Anellaria also have jet black sporeprints but are not hallucinogeic. Both Panaeolus and Copelandia mushrooms contain the alkaloids psilocybin and psilocin.
     
  6. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    On a first trip to the field, one need not be elaborate while hunting for magic mushrooms, especially in and around ones own neighborhood, and if you live in the Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest, where magic mushrooms are not just restricted geographically to pasture lands but also occur very abundantly on lawns and gardens in parks and around apartment complexes and office buildings (also occurring in woodchips and bark mulch). Magic mushrooms have even been collected from the lawns of such well known restaurants as MacDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and Jack-in-the-Box. There are 18 species of psilocybe in this region of the world. However, Great Britain and Europe has only 9 Psilocybe species and more than 59 species in Mexico and South America. This does not include the other genera where we have over 100 more species distributed throughout the world.

    Psilocybian mushrooms enjoy a wide variety of other habitats and may also occur in flat-bottomed valleys and on gentle slopes or small hills, along cattle trails in woods and mountainous regions. Some species grow on spaghnum moss, moss along streams and river banks, dead tree trunks, branches, twigs and stems in decidous woods, and in woodchips and bark mulch in gardens surrounding public buildings.

    After locating a good field for mushroom hunting, it is possible that more than one species of magic mushrooms could occur there. Word of mouth communication by fellow mycophiles is often another source for reliable information on mushroom locations.

    An avid mushroom hunter requires certain equipment to get through a day of picking. Basic mushroom hunting equipment includes a small cardboard box or several paper bags for collecting fresh mushroom specimens. Paper is the preferred method for preserving the quality of the freshly picked mushrooms. Never place fresh picked mushrooms into plastic bags, baggies, or metal containers. Rain clothes might be necessary since mushrooms grow well during and after a rainfall. However, the best time to pick fresh mushrooms is a few days after the rain has stopped. Mushrooms drying naturally in the sun for a few days after a rainfall are better preserved for collecting and harvesting than if picked when they are wet and fresh. This is especially true for mushroom species which belong to the genus Copelandia and Panaeolus.

    If driving to a specific picking location, be sure and park your vehicle far away from where one might go picking. This is to insure the safety of the picker. Parking next to a picking location could attract the attention of the farmers or even the police, both of whom might deside to hassle a picker for trespassing. Be sure to always ask permission to go onto private property. Respect the owner and he just might allow a perspective mushroom enthusiast to venture forth out onto his property for a few hours. Some farmers charge mushroom pickers a small fee for collecting mushrooms on their land. Do not bring dogs into a field and do not litter the land. Never leave a gate open or unlocked. These are but a few of the many reasons why farmers do not want strangers on their property.
     
  7. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    There are many different ways to prepare magic mushrooms for human consumption. However, the organic method is probably the most popular means employed. Psilocybian mushrooms are either eaten fresh (which supposedly produces the most powerful and intensely visual experience), or dried and consumed at a later date. Some users freeze their mushrooms for later use, while others put them in capsules. Freezing the mushrooms for later use is not recommended. Mixing psilocybian mushrooms in milk or fruit shakes (known as mushroom smoothies) or tea are also common methods employed by those who dislike the natural taste of the mushrooms. Cooking the mushrooms in a soup, stew or omelette to alleviate the acrid taste of psilocybian fungi is also popular. Other methods include serving the mushrooms on toast with jam or honey. Chocolate and honey were served with magic mushrooms by Aztecs priests during Montezuma's coronation and at other Aztec festivals and celebrations. However, it is best to eat the mushrooms on an empty stomach. The mushrooms may be rinsed carefully in water, but it should be mentioned that psilocybin is water soluble and some lose some of the active ingredients. Remember, psilocybin and psilocin are controlled substances.

    A dehydrater is one of the best methods for drying fresh picked mushrooms. However, if a dehydrater is not available then the best method for drying mushrooms is as follows: at home, place several sheets of newspaper on a table or in a high dry area. Separate and spread the mushrooms evenly across the newspaper and make sure that they are not touching one another. After 2-3 days the mushrooms will have shrunk down to virtually nothing. This occurs because the mushrooms are approximately 95% water. The color of the mushrooms will also change as they dry. After a few days, handle a mushroom specimen to see if it has completely dried. It may feel rubbery but in no way will it break apart like a fresh stem would.

    Next turn the oven on to 350 degrees and let it heat up. After 20 minutes turn the oven off and crack open the oven door until it stays cracked open. Let the oven cool off for no more than five minutes. Next place the dried mushrooms on several layers of newspaper and place them into the oven leaving the door cracked open. In twenty minutes remove the mushrooms from the oven and let stand in the air for ten minutes. Store the dried mushrooms in glass bottles with a rubber gasket and seal. This will insure that the potency of the mushrooms will remain for years to come. Also keep them away from direct light and heat. Do not store the mushrooms in honey.

    The mushrooms may then be eaten as is, or ground up into a powder and placed into double-ought geletin capsules for later use. Dosages vary within each individual species of mushroom and care should be taken when experimenting with entheogenic mushrooms. Dosage for the home grown mushroom Psilocybe cubensis and/or Psilocybe subcubensis is from 1 to 5 grams (dried), and from 1 to 2 ounces (fresh). This would be approximately 1 to 2 big mushrooms weighing 1 fresh ounce or from 5 to 25 small mushrooms weighing up to 1 fresh ounce. Dosage for Psilocybe semilanceata has been reported to be from 10 to 20 mushrooms fresh weighing approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of a fresh ounce and from 1 to 2 grams dried. Dosage for Psilocybe stuntzii, Psilocybe pelliculosa and/or Psilocybe silvatica is 20 to 40 fresh mushrooms or 2 to 3 grams dried. Dosage for Psilocybe cyanescens, psilocybe baeocystis and Psilocybe azurescens is 1 large mushroom or 2 to 3 small specimens.

    When consuming fresh or dried mushrooms, it is better to take them in the evening on an empty stomach. Avoid bright lights because they will divert from the visuals effects for which the mushrooms are famous. The darker the room, the more visuals one may experience. Consume the mushrooms over a 15-20 minute period and the experience will commence within 15 minutes up to half of an hour. The slow emergence to the come on of the experience is so much more tranquil and relaxed. When consumed in the form of tea or liquid, the experience will commence within 5 to 10 minutes and could be compared to the effect of a rocket during lift-off.

    If should be mentioned that there is just as much psilocybin in the caps of the mushrooms as there is in the stems. I mention this because I have observed people who eat the cap and throw away the stems.

    Some individuals have reported that strychnine is present in psilocybian mushrooms. This is not true. Freshly picked psilocybian mushrooms will not make anyone sick. Do not abuse this earthly treasure and the treasure will not abuse you. Be cool and safe and enjoy that which you have just learned and experienced.
     
  8. Smarthead

    Smarthead Gold Member

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    1. Under the provision of Public Law 91.513, psilocybin and psilocin are registered and designated as controlled subtances (#7437 and 7438) subject to a fine and/or imprisonment. However, exempting California and Georgia, spores for the propagation of psilocybian mushrooms are not illegal to possess in the United States. But it is illegal to post growing instructions with the spores for growing the mushrooms.



    2. The purpose of this guide is to enable mushroom lovers toward a better understanding of what to pick or what not to pick. The author does not condone or condemn people seeking altered states of consciousness by hunting for "magic mushrooms." However, I do want people to enjoy what they are searching for and not end up on a slab at the local coroners morgue. Study this guide and be sure you are right then proceed with confidence.

    3. Remember to always ask permission to trespass onto private property. This will prevent a number of complications which may arise if neglected. Do not take dogs into fields or litter a field and do not damage a farmers fence or leave the gates open.

    4. Possession of "magic mushrooms" is one level of illegality and sales are quite another. Do not destroy a beautiful free ecstatic experience through dealing. The Indians of Mesoamerica treasure the sanctity of the sacred mushrooms and their shamans do not sell them.

    5. A few words of caution are necessary for the novice mushroom hunter and forager of both wild edible and entheogenic mushrooms who just might happen to be reading this guide. Please remember, it is very important that one never ingest any variety of wild mushroom without first having had said mushroom identified by a trained qualified mycologist (one who studies mushrooms). Also, never offer any wild mushrooms which one might pick to another person unless one is absolutely sure that the mushrooms in question are not of a toxic or poisonous nature.

    6. Most major cities with large populations have mycological societies. These organizations are composed of friendly individuals who usually meet together at least once a month for the sole purpose of sharing and discussing their common interest in mushrooms and the love they share together in foraging for them. These groups of individuals would be more than delighted to examine and identify any wild mushrooms when approached to do so.

    7. Also, most major cities have many colleges and universities with both botany and mycology departments. Teachers and students who are studying in this field have a noble sense of willingness for examining and identifying any fresh mushroom specimens which might be brought to their attention. Remember, it is very easy to make a mistake, so be careful in your endeavor of auto-experimentation. Remember, If you are good to the mushrooms then the mushrooms will be good for you. Kharma is what it is all about. Good luck and good hunting.
     
  9. Micklemouse

    Micklemouse Platinum Member & Advisor

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    I'm assuming (if wrongly, I apologise) that this isn't your own work. Any chance of some references/credits, or better yet uploading this (& the other fine bits of text you've posted) in the archive?
     
  10. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    As I've said before: There are old mushroom hunters, and there are brave mushroom hunters. But there are no old, brave mushroom hunters. When in doubt - throw it out!

    Whether you are looking for edibles to put on the dinner table, or the little ones that change the wallpaper - a great deal of knowledge is needed before you set out with your basket. Join a local mycology club. Read as much as you can. Use your local college/university for information/courses. And start with the easiest ones to recognize. Not just the psychoactive ones either. Good edible mushrooms are delicious and will impress your dinner guests. As long as they don't need a liver transplant after coffee and dessert.

    As an aside, there is a lovely patch of Psilocybe Feonisceii growing across the way from my house. But they are largely inactive. Though my neighbor wondered why I was crawling around on his lawn. I pointed to some Coprinus Micaceus growing close by and gave him a lesson in those (they are very good edibles when young). But he seemed scared to death of "toadstools" and was happy to let me take all of them.
     
  11. xctico

    xctico Gold Member

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    38 y/o from costa_rica
    Re: cant identify mushroom, help!

    Mushroom Toxins

    by Michael Kuo

    Below are brief descriptions of some (not all) of the toxins documented in mushrooms. This page is intended as an introduction to the topic, and should not be used for medical or diagnostic purposes. If you have a medical emergency or you are a physician, please see this page.

    Amatoxins

    The mushrooms containing amatoxins--including the Destroying Angel, the Death Cap, and Galerina marginata--are among of the deadliest mushrooms on the planet, containing enough poison to kill you with a few bites. The toxins are called “amatoxins,” and there is no known antidote. Initial symptoms usually develop within 24 of ingestion, and include vomiting and bloody diarrhea. In many cases these symptoms are followed by a period of apparent remission, in which the victim feels better. But the remission is a cruel hoax; in the meantime, the victim's liver and kidneys are being destroyed. Death, which occurs in 10-60 percent of amatoxin cases, takes anywhere from three to seven days. Treatment is symptomatic, though medical professionals have begun to report some success with a combination of penicillin G and silibinin-—an extract from milk thistle which is currently not approved for use in the United States. See the Meixner Test for information on chemical testing for amatoxins.

    Ibotenic Acid

    Found in Amanita gemmata, Amanita muscaria, Amanita pantherina, and other species, ibotenic acid can produce vivid dreams, hallucinations, and delusions--but also terrible nausea and vomiting and/or, in some cases, deep sleep. Hospitalization is sometimes required.

    Muscarine

    Muscarine is the primary toxin found in some species of Clitocybe, Inocybe, and red-pored species of Boletus. The effects are awful, and too numerous to list comprehensively here (one mnemonic used by doctors and medical students to memorize a just few of the symptoms is SLUDGE: Salivation, Urination, Gastric Upset, and Emesis)--but profuse sweating, irregular heart rate, breathing difficulty, and bad vision deserve special mention. In severe cases hospitalization is necessary, and doctors sometimes use atropine as a treatment. Fatalities are rare, and are generally limited to victims with preexisting health problems.

    Orellanin and Other Kidney Toxins

    The genus Cortinarius is suspected of harboring several unidentified and potentially serious toxins, but the most serious known Cortinarius offenders are kidney toxins like orellanin, which can cause kidney failure or death. Transplants can be required, and recovery can take up to six months. Orellanin is particularly insidious in that it can take up to three or four weeks to produce symptoms.

    Amanita thiersii probably contains dangerous kidney toxins that have not yet been identified.

    Gyromitrin

    Gyromitrin is the toxin found in some species of Gyromitra (false morels), Helvella, Otidea, and other ascomycetes in the Pezizales. The effects range from none, to vomiting and diarrhea, to kidney and liver failure, to (very rarely) death. Faced with the choice of writing many pages or a few lines about this poison and its presence in false morels, I will opt for the latter and say only this: Scientists do not know what the various North American species of Gyromitra are, whether they all contain gyromitrin, whether growing conditions or geography affect toxin levels, whether the cooking process always removes the toxin, whether there is a cumulative build-up of the toxin in individuals who eat false morels, whether this and whether that. In short, they don’t know much about gyromitrin and false morels—but neither do you or I, and we have no business eating these mushrooms. Farmer Bob and Logger John may have eaten false morels for years without ill effects, but they have probably done all kinds of other stupid things, too. For the pages-long version, see my book Morels (2005).

    Unidentified Toxins and Gastrointestinal Irritants

    Though the toxins in many mushrooms have not been isolated, their presence is well documented. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, usually developing within a few hours of ingestion and typically dissipating within a day or so. Serious cases can require hospitalization. Mushrooms containing these toxins include:

    Chlorophyllum molybdites
    Orange-capped Leccinum species
    Verpa bohemica and Verpa conica
    Species of Entoloma
    Omphalotus illudens and closely related species
    Some species of Russula
    Some species of Agaricus

    An unidentified and potentially fatal toxin has recently been documented in Tricholoma equestre (also known as Tricholoma flavovirens). See the linked page for further information.

    "Allergic" Reactions

    Some mushrooms affect some people negatively, despite the fact that others can eat the same mushrooms without troubles. For me this is the case with the Hen of the Woods, which makes me sick (nausea, diarrhea) while others can enjoy it. Polypores are notorious for affecting some people negatively, but virtually any mushroom (even Yellow Morels) can cause trouble for some. Always eat wild mushrooms in moderation--and when trying a mushroom for the first time, eat only a few bites.


    References

    Arora, D. (1986). Mushrooms demystified: A comprehensive guide to the fleshy fungi. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. 959 pp.

    Bedry, R. et al. (2001). Wild-mushroom intoxication as a cause of rhabdomyolysis.New England Journal of Medicine 345: 798-802. An online version of this paper is available (with free registration) at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/345/11/798.pdf

    eMedicine.com (2006). Retrieved from the World Wide Web: http://www.emedicine.com

    Kuo, M. (2005). Morels. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 205 pp.

    Kuo, M. (2007). 100 Edible Mushrooms. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

    North American Mycological Association (2006). Mushroom poisoning case registry. Retrieved from the University of Michigan Web site: http://www.sph.umich.edu/~kwcee/mpcr/index.htm