Top 20 edible fungi

Heine J. Deelstra heine at
Wed Sep 19 04:19:56 EST 2001

"Daniel B. Wheeler" wrote:

> As for A. muscaria, I don't know of any fatalities from this mushroom
> from N.A., although certainly there are fatalities from it elsewhere
> in the world. I certainly cannot encourage consumption for either the
> potential "high" or for the potential 6-foot "low". But I didn't write
> the article either. And Mushroom The Journal did run an article last
> year on preparation of Amanita muscaria. BTW, the author of the
> article has been David Aurora's foray chef for several years. And
> David has noted that world-wide, many Amanitas _are_ eaten on a
> regular basis for food. So far, that trend has seemed to escape those
> of us rather cautious in our culinary creations. OTOH, I'm not sure
> I'd pass up A. caesaria in Europe some year, provided I picked it
> myself.
> Daniel B. Wheeler

I have no experience with hallucinogenic mushrooms (or substances) myself, but the descriptions of A.
muscaria induced trips do not sound very attractive to me; especially the nausea/vomiting part. Dosage
is another problem when ingesting whole mushrooms.

Although some Amanita species can indeed be eaten (and are even very tasteful), some of them can be
eaten only once. Amanita phalloides is a known example. Amanita muscaria is also not something I would
expect to find in my soup.
A. phalloides and A. muscaria contain different toxins; A. phalloides contains (among others?)
alpha-amanitin, a powerful inhibitor of RNA polymerase II, and phalloidin, a toxin affecting F-actin.
A. muscaria contains the neurotoxin muscimol (by some reported to be a GABA-agonist) and ibotenic acid
(decarboxylation of this forms muscimol).

The amount of toxins can vary considerably among specimens. Dosage is therefore always inaccurate.


PS Don't only pick the mushrooms yourself; identify them yourself as well.

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