Also known as the Devil’s bolete or Satan’s mushroom, is a basidiomycete fungus of the bolete family. Found on chalky soil in mixed woodlands in the southern, warmer regions of Europe and North America, it is generally regarded as a poisonous mushroom, with predominantly gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea and vomiting occurring if eaten raw. However, reports of poisoning are rare due to its odd appearance and at times putrid smell minimising casual experimentation.
The Devil’s bolete is poisonous, especially when eaten raw, but also when cooked. The symptoms, which are predominantly gastrointestinal, include violent vomiting, which can last up to six hours.
Boletus satanas is rarely sampled casually due to its putrid smell and blue bruising.
Also known as ‘common ink cap’, is an edible but sometimes poisonous mushroom found in Europe and North America. It is the second best known ink cap.
This mushroom contains a similar substance to the drug Antabuse that is used to treat alcoholism, and although tasty and edible, alcohol renders its poisonous, causing violent sickness and palpitations. As a result of this it has another commonly known name, tippler’s bane due to its ability to create acute sensitivity to alcohol.
Consuming Coprinopsis atramentaria within a few hours of alcohol results in a “disulfiram syndrome”. This interaction has only been known since the early part of the twentieth century. Symptoms include facial reddening, nausea, vomiting, malaise agitation, palpitations and tingling in limbs, and arise five to ten minutes after consumption of alcohol. If no more alcohol is consumed, they will generally subside over two or three hours.
Symptom severity is proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed, although very unpleasant, the syndrome has not been associated with any fatalities. Disulfiram has, been known to cause heart attacks. The symptoms can occur if even a small amount of alcohol is consumed up to three days after eating the mushrooms, although they are milder as more time passes.
Treatment involves reassuring the patient that the symptoms will pass, rehydration for fluid loss from vomiting, and monitoring for an irregular heartbeat.