by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 18.
Morchella species, especially the Black Morel shown here, are a significant cause of mushroom poisonings. The normal poisoning symptoms are vomiting and cramps, possibly accompanied by chills, dizziness, headache and diarrhea. Onset of symptoms can be as soon as 10 to 15 minutes or delayed 30 minutes to 4.5 hours. In most cases the poisoning involves consumption of raw mushrooms, though a few people are made ill by cooked mushrooms and on occasion people even become ill if they consume alcohol along with the mushrooms. However, in years of leading field trips and cooking morels for hundreds of people and having wine available, I have never had anyone become ill. Never the less, if you eat morels raw or if you are a susceptible individual, you may be in for an unpleasant experience. For example, it has been reported that males whose genetic origins are from Mediterranean regions may have a G6PD deficiency, which makes them intolerant of fava beans, in which case they can possibly suffer a severe anemia after consumption of Morels.
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