Sunday, August 12, 2012

Poison Post: Korf's Gyomitra/The Gyomitra Mushrooms

I went with a real image from for this post so you could really grasp how not-delicious looking this thing is.

Korf's Gyromitra/Gyromitra

Scientific Name: Gyromitra gigas

Because this K poison topic is so narrow, I'll be talking generally about the mushrooms in the Gyromitra Genus. These mushrooms are commonly known as the 'false morels'.

Folk/Common Names: False Morel, Bull Nose
Toxicity Level: Extremely toxic. Good chance of being fatal in raw form.
Poison Type: Gyromitrin
Where is the Poison: The entire mushroom, especially the head/spores area.

Symptoms: The general stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, graduating into complete central nervous system failure, terror, headaches, seizures, coma, delusions and a slow death. The neurological symptoms result because the toxin inhibits normal brain receptors. Symptoms usually set in 6 hours after consumption.

Interesting Fact: Most of the species under genus Gyromitra are completely toxic if eaten raw, but some can be cooked and eaten as a delicacy. I guess if you like to gamble with your food, that is. Recent evidence shows even cooking doesn't inhibit the toxin, which will latch on to the system anyway and slowly cause kidney failure and or liver failure.

The most toxic species (and most infamous) of Gyromitra is arguably Gyromitra esculenta. {Click the link to behold a gross photo of it, and learn more.} Though several US species of false morel are less toxic overall, the problem is lookalikes. So don't risk it, man.

Folk Info: Though we have extensive records of poisoning, nobody seems to be able to figure out why the poisoning varies so much from person to person. Some can walk away unharmed, while others who eat the same mushroom end up dead. It's like the russian roulette of poisons.


Yeah seriously don't touch really ugly looking mushrooms.


More info on Gyromitras:

Info not evaluated by the FDA, not meant to replace advice by a doctor or other licensed herbalist, not a recommendation to eat or handle poison or do stupid things. Educational use only, thanks, etc etc

Back to the Master Poison List?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your mushroom kit harvests, it's so gratifying to grow them in the kitchen. :) cubensis spores