Poisonous Mushrooms: The Death Cap

Just 1 oz of the death cap poisonous mushrooms is enough to kill a human. If you captured and ingested one, here’s how to survive.

What are death cap poisonous mushrooms?

The Amanita phalloides, or death cap, is a deadly poisonous mushroom about the size of a matchbox that contains a toxin called alpha-amanitin. It’s responsible for numerous assassination plots and accidental deaths throughout history, including Roman Emperor Claudius, Pope Clement VII, the Russian tsaritsa Natalia Naryshkina, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.

Where is it located?

Death caps poisonous mushrooms are native to Europe, where they’re extremely widespread. They appear most commonly under oak trees. This fungi is believed to have invasive potential as it can be found on other continents too, such as Asia and Africa.

How will it kill you?

The alpha-amanitin in death caps causes fatal damage to the liver and kidney, as is captured here on camera. Symptoms of death cap poisoning don’t appear until two to three days after ingestion and often include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Severe, irreparable damage to the internal organs then follows along with jaundice, seizures, coma, and renal failure. Death occurs six to eighteen days after the poisoning.

How to survive:

Consuming the death cap is considered a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. The delayed onset of symptoms allows you to unhurriedly get to the hospital. Preliminary care consists of gastric decontamination with either activated charcoal or gastric lavage. In addition, if you’ve already started suffering from liver failure, a liver transplant will be your only option to prevent death.


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