Gray dung beetle (Coprinus atramentarius L.)


The cap is 3-7 cm in diameter, at first ovoid, then broadly round-bell-shaped, gray-brown, darker in the center, with small brown scales. The pulp is white, quickly darkening. The plates are frequent, white, with a rapidly disappearing white ring. Spores are lemon-shaped, smooth, black, 7.5-10 x 5-5.5 μ. Gray dung beetle grows on pastures, in gardens and orchards, in autumn.

Contains active substances and medicinal use:

The works of Czech authors found that gray dung beetle, edible at a young age and traditionally modern harmless, causes poisoning in those people who are in a state of alcoholic intoxication, even light. Poisoning is expressed in severe nausea and vomiting, palpitations, redness of the skin. It traditionally passes without a trace; in the case of repeated alcohol intake, even without subsequent consumption of the fungus in food, a relapse of poisoning occurs. This specific action of the gray dung beetle made it possible to offer it as a remedy for the fight against alcoholism. It has been suggested that the specific substance of dung beetle, poisoning in the presence of alcohol, is similar in action to the medicinal substance Antabuse, which is tetrathiuram disulfide in chemical composition. Its action is the partial oxidation of ethyl alcohol to acetaldehyde. This process causes the above symptoms of poisoning.

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