Amanita muscaria is one of the representatives of the Amanitovye family. It belongs to poisonous fruiting bodies, is capable of causing hallucinogenic effects, due to the fact that the fungus contains substances such as tryptamines (5-methoxydimethyltryptamine, bufotenin, dimethyltryptamine).
Description of porphyry mushroom
The porphyry fly agaric (gray or Amanita porphyria) cannot be called very popular, especially when compared with the more famous representatives of this family (panther and red). Although mushrooms have common features that are inherent in most fly agarics. The main distinguishing feature of the porphyry species is the color of the cap. The upper part of the fruiting body may have a purple or violet-brown hue. The color depends on several factors - age, place of growth and soil composition.
Description of the hat
In the porphyry fly agaric, the top has an ovoid-bell-shaped shape. As the mushroom grows, it becomes flat, and the bulge on it is invisible. The diameter of the cap can vary from 5 to 11 cm.
The color is most often gray-brown with violet-bluish, but sometimes there is also a purple hue. On a damp surface, white or purple warts are visible, which look more like rare filmy flakes. A faint striped pattern runs along the edge of the cap.
The plates under the upper part of the fruiting body are located close to each other and in large numbers, thin and soft to the touch. They rarely grow to the leg, the color is white, which, as the mushroom matures, acquires a beige tint.
The flesh of the porphyry mushroom is white and thin. It has not only an unpleasant taste, but also a strong pungent odor that resembles the aroma of potatoes or musty radish.
In the fly agaric, it can reach 2 cm in diameter and 13 cm in height. In shape, the lower part of the fruiting body is similar to a cylinder with a thickened area near the base. The stem color ranges from pure white to slightly gray.
Doubles and their differences
The porphyry fly agaric does not have twins. Therefore, confusing it with other species is extremely problematic. Novice lovers of quiet hunting can confuse this fly agaric with a gray-pink one. It does not have such a sharp and unpleasant aroma, and the color of the cap is pronounced gray-pink. The mushroom belongs to conditionally edible specimens, therefore it cannot cause much harm to human health.
The porphyry fly agaric can be confused by its smell with the grebe-like fellow, but the latter has a completely different color palette.
Important! In North America, a porphyry fly agaric grows, which has a special color, devoid of bluish, blue and purple hues. The cap of such a mushroom is light brown, which makes it possible to confuse the fly agaric with the more dangerous representative of the family - the poisonous panther.
Where and how does porphyry fly agaric grow
The porphyry fly agaric prefers coniferous forests, in which it can form mycorrhiza together with spruces and pines. Sometimes the mushroom is found in birch groves.
Fruiting bodies rarely grow in piles of 2-3 specimens, most often they can be seen singly.
Fruiting begins in July, and the last harvest is observed at the end of October. Geographically, mushrooms are found in all forests of Russia, where there are coniferous plantations and birches grow. The most abundant growth occurs in Scandinavia and Central Asia. They are also found in some European countries. It should be noted that extremely poor acidic soil is suitable for porphyry mushroom. Fruit bodies can often be observed at an altitude of 1600 m above the horizon, in mountainous areas.
Edible porphyry fly agaric or poisonous
The use of porphyry fly agaric in food is prohibited, since the mushroom is not only not edible, but also poisonous. It contains dangerous toxins, which are also found in the panther fly agaric. When the fruit body is eaten raw, even in small quantities, tropane or mycoatropin syndromes develop. The poison does not disappear even after heat treatment, since it cannot be destroyed by exposure to high temperatures.
In addition to the dangerous toxin, porphyry fly agaric contains 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenin, and DMT. Despite the fact that these components have insignificant concentrations, their ingestion negatively affects the well-being of a person.
Poisoning symptoms and first aid
Mushroom poisoning can occur for a number of different reasons, among which not only the deliberate use of amanita is possible, but also its accidental ingestion into the stomach. In any case, it is important to know not only about the symptoms of body intoxication, but also about how to help yourself and your loved one before the ambulance arrives.
Attention! The first signs of fly agaric poisoning appear within 1-2 hours after their use.
The main and very first symptoms that you should pay attention to:
- feeling of constant nausea;
- profuse vomiting that does not end after taking absorbents;
- an increase in body temperature up to 38-40 ° С;
- stomach ache;
- frequent diarrhea - at least 10 times a day;
- numbness of the limbs (hands and feet start to get cold);
- the pulse becomes indistinct, weak;
- inflammation of the small intestine and stomach develops.
If the amount of mushroom eaten was significant, then additional, more pronounced symptoms may develop, in which immediate hospitalization of the victim is necessary:
- the appearance of hallucinations;
- a condition that borders on insanity;
- the patient begins to delirium, consciousness gets confused, speech becomes illegible.
When the first signs of poisoning appear, you need to call an ambulance, since toxins quickly spread along with the blood, getting into all vital organs and disrupting their work. If medical assistance is not provided in the first 24 hours, then death is possible.
Before the ambulance arrives, it is necessary to provide the person with emergency assistance, which consists in the following:
- The victim should drink a lot and often so that the body does not become dehydrated. At the same time, it is recommended to use cold mineral water, cooled strong tea, ordinary water with the addition of salt and sugar.
- Bed rest. The victim should not move and lead an active lifestyle so that the body does not waste energy and strength. Also, in case of poisoning, a person can faint and receive significant damage and injury.
- Gastric lavage. If there is no vomiting, then experts recommend calling it yourself. To do this, you need to drink warm water.
- Reception of absorbents. When the stomach is cleared, you can give the patient activated charcoal and similar agents.
Ambulance doctors most often hospitalize the victim, since in order to cleanse the body of toxins, it is necessary to install droppers with saline and vitamins. Recovery, if the therapy is not only correct, but also timely, occurs within a day.
Interesting facts about porphyry amanita
Porphyry fly agarics have features that are inherent in many members of the family, but not every mushroom picker knows about them:
- Fruit bodies contain acid, which can not only negatively affect human health, but also lead to the death of brain cells.
- Despite the fact that the mushroom is poisonous, few deaths have been reported. Since the fly agaric does not in any way look like an edible species, it is simply impossible to confuse it with a mushroom or a mushroom. In addition, an instant death can occur only when a large amount is consumed, at least 15 hats.
- In ancient times, fly agarics acted as the only intoxicating substance. The peoples of Siberia used it for ritual ceremonies, since mushrooms had a hallucinogenic effect, which made it possible to communicate with otherworldly forces and spirits.
- Amanita and some animals, such as deer, squirrels, bears and elk, are eaten. For them, this product is medicinal.
- The Mari and the inhabitants of Mordva held fly agarics in special honor, since they were considered food for spirits and gods.
- Some representatives and adherents of traditional medicine claim that the poisonous product can be used as a cure for joint diseases, oncology, colds and hypertension. Since there is no scientific evidence for this fact, it is not recommended to engage in such self-medication. It can be life threatening.
- In France, porphyry fly agaric is used as a cure for insomnia, using an extract from fruit bodies for this purpose.
Important! European experts have come to grips with the study of amanita and not only studied their effect on the body, but also conducted a large-scale survey of people on the knowledge of mushrooms. The results showed that fly agarics were unmistakably named by about 95% of the respondents. Moreover, many of them were able to distinguish fruiting bodies by species.
Amanita porphyry is a poisonous mushroom that is difficult to confuse with any edible species. Therefore, cases of poisoning by them are extremely rare.