Friday, January 19, 2018

Amanita Poisonous Mushrooms

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Category: Poisoning

There’s a good reason why Amanita mushrooms are called “death caps.” They contain one of Nature’s most potent liver poisons. Amanitia mushrooms grow in New England, in the mid-Atlantic states, and on the West Coast from northern California to Canada. Most poisonings occur from June to October. The typical victim is a young child left unattended outdoors, or a poorly trained wild mushroom hunter. During the first day after eating death caps, you experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and heart rhythm disturbances. After three to five days, your liver fails, resulting in jaundice, and quite often death.

Mainstream medicine has no antidote for Amanita poison. Doctors treat it with activated charcoal and intravenous fluid replacement. This approach saves some, but not all lives, which is why reports of Amanita deaths appear fairly regularly in the press.

Too bad that American doctors don’t appreciate the value of the milk thistle extract, silymarin. It blocks Amanita poison’s entry into liver cells. Several studies have shown what a life-saver silymarin can be. In one involving 205 people, 189 received standard medical care and 16 received silymarin. In the standard-care group, 46 (24 percent) died. In the silymarin group, none died. Another study of 220 Amanitia victims treated with silymarin recorded a 13 percent death rate, well below the death rate expected with standard medical care (up to 40 percent).

Of course, the best way to deal with mushroom poisoning is to pick your mushrooms only at your grocer. But for poisoning, silymarin clearly helps. Let’s hope mainstream doctors adopt this treatment.

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