Authors: Dawa Penjor, Sabitra Pradhan and Michael B. Thomas
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Locality: Bhutan (27.332740, 90.439450)
Abstract: If you suspect that you have consumed a poisonous mushroom, contact a physician, or your local hospital. Although a lot of mushrooms are being consumed by the Bhutanese people and there is adequate traditional knowledge on edible mushrooms, mushroom poisoning cases are happening in Bhutan almost every year with casualties once in a while. Every year people get sick or even die from eating poisonous mushrooms in Bhutan. One of the National Mushroom Center’s main objectives is to educate the public about poisonous mushrooms.

People cannot safely enjoy edible wild mushrooms without also learning about poisonous mushrooms as well. Poisonous wild mushrooms are commonly found in Bhutan. Some resemble popular wild edible species but are extremely dangerous to eat, and if eaten can be fatal. Of the hundreds of wild mushroom species in Bhutan, we identify 10 of the most common and significantly poisonous mushrooms.

The most frequent form of mushroom poisoning is caused by a wide variety of gastrointestinal irritants. The symptoms usually appear within 20 minutes to 4 hours of ingesting poisonous mushrooms, and can include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea, which normally pass after the irritant had been expelled. Severe cases may lead to death. The following species checklist is not exhaustive. It is presented for educational purposes but should not be considered a definitive guide to species identification. For identification questions consult the staff at the National Mushroom Centre.

Recent News Articles of Mushroom Poisonings in Bhutan
July 21, 2016. Kuensel Online. Three in hospital after consuming poisonous mushrooms.
April 21, 2016. Kuensel Online. Girl dies after eating poisonous mushrooms.
May 23, 2013. Bhutan News Service Mushroom and hospital that killed.
Aug 30, 2009. Bhutan Observer. Six treated for mushroom poisoning.

Notes: Project supported by the United States Fulbright Scholar Program, Washington, D.C. (2017). The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

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