Death cap

Pale toadstool is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the whole world. Despite its specific name, it actually refers to fly agaric. At the moment, very few people get poisoning using a pale toadstool for food, since even beginner mushroom pickers know it well and avoid it. However, in cases of poisoning with this fungus, mortality is extremely high and amounts to more than 90%.

The cap of the white grebe has a greenish tint at the very beginning of development, but with the growth of the fungus it becomes lighter. Often you can find mushrooms with a white hat, which can reach a size of up to 15 cm. The older the mushroom, the denser the hat, which sometimes grows with curled edges. The pulp has a pleasant mushroom aroma, but it should not deceive you.

The leg of the pale grebe is quite high, up to 15 cm, but very thin, just a couple of centimeters wide. Very often, pale grebe is confused with young champignons, but there is one significant difference: champignons have a ring on the leg, and pale grebe does not. In addition, novice mushroom pickers can confuse this mushroom with russula. Another problem is that the pale grebe does not lose its dangerous properties during salting, during heat treatment or drying.

The pale grebe in history

The first mention of the pale grebe dates back to the 19th century, when the famous American scientist Charles Peck first mentioned the fungus that he noticed in North America. In 1918, the samples taken by this scientist were checked and scientists came to the conclusion that it belongs to fly agaric. At that time, everyone sincerely believed that the pale grebe grows only where it was first seen. But in the seventies of the last century, scientists noticed that this fungus, among other things, spread along the eastern and western coasts of North America, and also took root well in Europe.

In fact, it was in Europe that the pale grebe began to grow from the very beginning, and then it spread widely due to the fact that seedlings of trees, especially chestnuts that were popular at that time, which already contained spores of mushrooms, were transported to other countries. Toadstool was so widespread that it lasted only 50 years, and although it is very fond of wet places, it can be found more often in countries that are not famous for their humid climate.

The first documented case of pale toadstool poisoning, at least a case noticed, can be considered the family of the famous Euripides, who were poisoned by a pale toadstool, confusing it with a common Caesar mushroom.

Much later, the first references appeared that people were specifically poisoned with a pale grebe to remove people from the political arena. In particular, the emperor Claudius and Pope Clement 7 became victims of poisoning with this fungus.

Where does toadstool grow

Pale toadstool is very fond of moisture and a huge amount of them appears after rain. It rarely appears in countries with arid climates, as well as in areas characterized by dry, hot weather. The mushroom prefers mixed and deciduous forests, but this does not mean that it cannot be found in coniferous forests. Mushrooms reach their peak of development from the second half of August until October.

The homeland of the pale toadstool is Europe, after which it penetrated into Asia and Africa, spread throughout America and Australia. In fact, pale grebe is not found so often, but nevertheless there are many places that she prefers for life. The best pale grebe feels next to oaks, chestnuts, birches, maples, lindens, hazel, beech, elm. But she was also seen next to conifers: Christmas trees and pines. Pale grebe and now also spreads around the world, in recent years it has become noticeable that it finds for itself as partners such trees that previously were not peculiar to it. For example, the pale grebe now feels rather well in Iran, where it grows next to hazelnuts and is even seen in Algeria, where it uses eucalyptus.

How to identify a pale grebe

Young pale toad mushrooms have the shape of a hat, similar to a chicken egg, gradually the hat becomes flatter, but retains a bulge in the center. For the most part, grebes have a greenish tint, which is easy to notice during the cut. This green color is especially noticeable on the leg, which has streaks or patterns of green. There is a small whitish ring at the top of the toadstool that may not be solid. In addition, at the pale toadstool, the cup is torn into several blades, usually 4 pieces, which are located near the ground. These are very noticeable features, since the leg does not grow to this cup, on the contrary, it seems that the mushroom was simply put into it. In addition, the calyx is quite large compared to other mushrooms. Old mushrooms have an unpleasant sweet odor by which they can be distinguished.


It is very important to understand that folk signs are not always able to help you determine if a mushroom is poisonous or not. There are a few common misconceptions that can really cost a life to a careless mushroom picker:

  1. All poisonous mushrooms smell unpleasant, and edible ones have a pleasant smell. Pale grebe very often smells like mushrooms, and some of the species have no smell at all, so this sign cannot be considered correct.
  2. Insect larvae never live in poisonous mushrooms. In fact, this is not true, the larvae of some insects feel quite comfortable even in a poisonous mushroom.
  3. All mushrooms, if young, can be eaten. We will not judge all mushrooms, but pale toadstool is mortally dangerous at any age.
  4. If you make a decoction of a poisonous mushroom and put silver in it, silver will necessarily turn black. The range of toxic substances contained in various poisonous mushrooms is very diverse. Perhaps some mushrooms influence silver in this way, but this does not mean that this remedy can be considered the right way to find out whether a poisonous mushroom or not.

Use in medicine

It is possible that the pale grebe contains substances that can be used in pharmaceuticals, but at the moment, humanity is not aware of such, it only knows that it is a deadly mushroom. Only a third of the fungus is enough to get severe poisoning and a possible fatal outcome. The minimum amount of pale toadstool is used in homeopathy, however, official medicine has never recognized and will not recognize this mushroom as a medicine in the near future. Remember that the toxins contained in it are too dangerous to experiment with your own health, trying to recover.

In the Middle Ages, doctors used minimal doses of pale toadstool in an attempt to treat cholera. At the moment, microscopic doses of this fungus, insisted on alcohol, are used in homeopathy in order to treat gastritis and cholera, stomach cramps, lethargic sleep, serious damage to the eye muscles and even vertigo. However, it is important to remember that any use of the wrong remedies can be dangerous and not good for your health.

Pale Toad Poisoning

The poison contained in the pale grebe slows down the process of each cell in the body. It significantly inhibits the formation of proteins in the body, which leads to the rapid degeneration of tissues and internal organs. For this reason, the stomach, liver and intestines are the first to suffer. In addition, this leads to vomiting and diarrhea, which in turn leads to dehydration and loss of healthy salts.

Doctors say that the toxins contained in this fungus alter the composition of the blood and greatly impair the functioning of the heart, as well as affect the lungs. They significantly reduce the ability of blood to clot, which leads to internal bleeding. In addition, they poison the nervous system, which ultimately leads to hallucinations and inappropriate behavior.

Unfortunately, not only the pale grebe itself is dangerous, but also its disputes. By wind, they spread to plants adjacent to the fungus, so when collecting berries and herbs in the forest, you need to pay attention to their neighbors. Of course, the toadstool argument is not enough to be fatal, but quite enough for serious poisoning.

Stages of poisoning

The main problem of pale toadstool is not only its toxicity, but also that the first symptoms of poisoning can occur long after you eat this mushroom. The toxic substances contained in this fungus begin to act only 10 to 30 hours after you eat it. Often the usual headache becomes the first symptom of poisoning, then vision becomes much worse, excruciating pains in the stomach, anxiety and thirst. After this, poisoning quickly goes into a more active phase: convulsions, diarrhea and vomiting appear. Some poisoned ones have periods of relief, but in fact it’s a hoax. By the time the first symptoms are reduced, irreversible changes have already occurred in the internal organs, in particular in the heart, kidneys and liver.

After toxins enter the bloodstream, death occurs in about 10 days. For a person, only 1/3 of an adult mushroom is enough to die.

However, at the current level of medicine, there is a very high chance of escape: with the first suspicions of poisoning with a pale toadstool, if you seek help in time, in the first hours of pronounced symptoms, the fatal outcome is reduced to 50%.

What to do in case of poisoning

First of all, at the first manifestations of the smallest signs of pale grebe poisoning, it is necessary to rinse the stomach. Old proven methods, that is, potassium permanganate solution, are best suited for this. If it is not at hand and you cannot make a weak solution of potassium permanganate, you need to drink 5 glasses of boiled water, and then induce vomiting. In no case should you drink milk, as it stimulates faster absorption of toxins into the blood. Able to save life and ordinary activated carbon or other effective sorbent, which you need to drink about 5 tablets. Vitamin C will also help in a small dosage, up to one gram. Antibiotics will also help, for example, the usual "Levomycetin", which will reduce the effect of toxins on microorganisms in the intestine. Before the ambulance arrives, it is very important to drink water, in which you need to add a little salt to restore the balance of salt and water in the body, which was disturbed due to vomiting and diarrhea.

What does not need to be done in case of poisoning

Some people believe that strong alcohol can help with poisoning, in fact it is not. On the contrary, any alcohol helps toxins spread even faster throughout the body, stimulating a fatal effect.

Antidote Creation

At the moment, substances that are able to neutralize the poison of this fungus are isolated from the pale grebe. An antidote is being actively developed, which will allow the most active treatment of poisoning with this fungus. But it is very important to remember that the only way to recover after poisoning with a pale toadstool is to consult a doctor in a timely manner, since after only a few days, the toxins contained in it lead to irreversible damage to internal organs, which can lead to death without transplantation of these organs.

Watch the video: Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Terrifying and Unstoppable (January 2020).