From: jjhitt@swbell.net
To: blanche@netaxs.com (Blanche Nonken)
Date: Nov 18 1997 12:44:34 pm
Subject: Re: The Ever-changing Gods
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From: jjhitt@swbell.net (J.J. Hitt)
Subject: Re: The Ever-changing Gods
Organization: Self

X-Ftn-To: blanche@netaxs.com (Blanche Nonken)

>>COMMON NAME:  Fly Agaric

> (I readilly admit that I am guessing on this
> point, but feel I on rather safe ground and will be more
> than happy to come up with enough references to choke
> a horse if anyone is in a disputing mood. I might just be
> saving some silly bastard's life).

And I just might be overstateing things a bit.

Still, this 40-year-old hippy is no prude about
experimenting with recreational chemicals, but
there's no way I can see justifying the risks involved
with this one. I'd rather smoke paint chips and old
bicycle tires.
=20
Here's what I found on the Fly Agaric's toxicity:

Toxicity:
The name Fly Agaric comes from its traditional use as a fly
killer. The cap was sprinkled with sugar or crumbled in milk
to make a poisoned bait.

The Fly Agaric is widely considered toxic to humans, but
this is an unfair reputation, mostly stemming from its
brightly coloured red & white cap which seems to advertise
it as dangerous. The Fly Agaric's cousins, Amanita
phalloides (Deathcap) and Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel),
which are deadly poisonous may have contributed to the myth
of its toxicity. The Deathcap is easily distinguised by a
pale yellowish cap with a slight green tinge, and lack of
white spots. The Destroying Angel is entirely white.

It has been widely noted that poisoning from Fly agaric is
very rare and almost never fatal. Fatalities typically
involve ingestion of 1-2 dozen caps, and consumption of 10
is considered fatal. Eating more than two or three caps
should be considered highly dangerous.

=46ly agarics contain muscimol and muscazone (in smaller
amounts and less active than muscimol) both are CNS
hallucinogens. Ibotenic acid which is the principle agent of
toggle-switch intoxication (which cause muscle spasms,
flushing of the skin and drowsiness), and muscarine, a
highly toxic alkaloid (muscarine content is extremely low,
0.0002% in fresh tissue) As the toadstools age the harmful
toxins tend to increase, so younger caps are preferable for
recreational use.

Source:
http://minaret.lincoln.ac.nz:8080/fly.htm

And for a lovely description of what death by mushroom
induced liver failure is like, go to:

http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/jbwright/amahome.html

Where we find:

The Symptoms:

1.Amatoxins - The symptoms of amatoxin poisoning in humans
are a ghoulish series of four phases, beginning with the
not-too-alarming latency phase of 6-12 hours. This is
followed by the gastrointestinal phase, where the human
gets its first inkling that something is not quite right.

The gastrointestinal phase consists of diarrhea,=20
dehydration, vomiting and, not surprisingly,
abdominal pains. The third phase begins with
the patient feeling deceptively better off (another=20
latency period) until the fourth and final phase hits.=20
The final phase consists of the final degradation of=20
the liver and kidney until, between the fourth and=20
eighth day after ingestion, the patient lapses into=20
hepatic coma combined with renal failure, ending
in death. All this from a dose of 0.1 mg/kg body weight
or even lower. That's not much mushroom to kill a
person!=20

cholera-like diarrhea=20
dehydration=20
vomiting=20
abdominal pains=20
drop in coagulation factors=20
increase in liver enzymes (SGOT,SGPT,LDH)=20
hepatic failure=20
encephalopathy=20
kidney damage=20
DEATH due to combined liver and renal failure

2.Phallotoxins & Virotoxins=20

severe swelling of the liver=20
cessation of bile flow

3.Phallolysins=20
The phallolysins are labile against acids and heat,=20
and do not contribute to human Amanita poisoning.

4.Ibotenic acid (and possibly its derivative, muscimol)=20
central nervous system depression=20
ataxia=20
hysteria=20
hallucinations - even worse this amino acid may
drive you to drink urine.

J.J. Hitt (Houston, TX)
jjhitt@swbell.net
EOF

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