Dung beetle mushroom and alcohol

Dung beetle mushroom and alcohol: myths around treatment with koprin

Alcoholism has always been a problem, social and family. And it remains so to this day. Because to this day, science does not know such a “magic remedy” that can quickly and with a guarantee cure an alcoholic from addiction. Alcoholism itself is a complex disease, based on mental and physiological factors. That is why the word “Alcoholism” has not been used for a long time when making a diagnosis, as having a disparaging meaning, a more tolerant name: “alcohol dependence syndrome”. The problem of alcoholics at the physiological level is that their body ceases to perceive alcohol as a poison, they often block the gag reflex, the natural mechanism by which we react to poisoning.

It makes no sense to list all sorts of “I won’t give you money” and “you’ll sleep on a cot,” they don’t work. Reprimands and deprivation of bonuses at work also do not have the desired effect.

A more or less effective way is to develop an aversion to alcohol. So that after a hundred grams it became bad. Bad physically: to feel sick, sick and something hurt. To vomit everything drunk and remember.

It is not known at what time and in what country it was noticed: if you eat certain mushrooms and take alcohol, it will be bad. All will appear symptoms of severe poisoning: the face turns red, throws in a fever, the heartbeat quickens, severe nausea appears, vomiting and diarrhea are possible. The way mushrooms are processed obviously does not matter, they can be fried, added to soup or stir-fry, served as a “snack” in marinated form. It is noteworthy that it was not necessary to “sprinkle” raw mushrooms personally into an alcoholic’s plate, raw mushrooms do not have an “anti-alcohol” effect at all, mushrooms had to be cooked. The beauty of the “mushroom” method is that only the drinker will suffer. The whole family dined, the wife and children ate the same thing, but did not drink, and nothing for them, but the husband drank and “almost died.”

It was believed and is still believed that in this way it is possible to develop a persistent aversion to alcohol on a psychological level. To fix, so to speak, the connection “drank – got sick.” And in the future, the alcoholic will become ill from drinking, even if he did not eat any mushrooms.

In those distant times, when medicine was almost all “folk”, and chemistry as a science had not yet separated from alchemy, our healer grandmothers came up with the following explanation: these mushrooms contain a certain poison that dissolves only in alcohol and therefore only affects alcoholics . And it acts as a strong emetic.

Good explanation for the Middle Ages. But science does not stand still. Now we know the whole “mechanism” of the process.

These “anti-alcohol” mushrooms are called “dung beetles”. And not just any of dozens of species, but quite specific ones: gray dung beetle, Coprinopsis atramentaria.

Dung beetle mushroom and alcohol: myths around treatment with koprin

Silk as a substance was discovered (isolated) from the fruiting bodies of the gray dung beetle (Coprinopsis atramentaria) in 1975 by several scientists (Americans and Swedes). In its pure form, it is a colorless crystalline substance, highly soluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohols. When using koprin together with alcohol, severe poisoning is observed.

Symptoms of coprin poisoning include:

  • severe redness of the upper body, especially redness of the face
  • severe nausea, vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • general malaise
  • excitation
  • cardiopalmus
  • tingling in the limbs
  • headache
  • excessive salivation
  • sudden changes in blood pressure
  • weakness and fainting with a decrease in pressure
  • anxiety attacks
  • fear of death

Symptoms usually occur five to ten minutes (up to two hours, rarely) after drinking alcohol. If you no longer drink alcohol, the symptoms usually resolve within a few hours, and the severity of the symptoms is proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. Drinking alcohol can cause these same symptoms again for up to 5 days after taking coprin.

All this is called “Koprin Syndrome”. Sometimes you can see the name “Coprinus Syndrome”.

But the toxic substance is not koprin. The wording “koprin poisoning” is fundamentally wrong.

Under normal conditions, when drinking alcohol in our body, several complex chemical reactions occur, as a result of which alcohol, under the influence of enzymes, is broken down into carbon dioxide and water, this occurs in several stages. Koprine, scientifically speaking, is a strong inhibitor of aldehyde dehydrogenase, one of the enzymes produced by the liver. That is, without delving into complex chemical formulas, it blocks the production of the enzyme that is involved in one of the stages of removing alcohol from the body, which converts aldehydes into acids.

It is aldehydes, the products of not-before-split alcohol, that cause poisoning. Not himself koprin.

Currently in official medicine for the treatment of “alcohol dependence syndrome” koprin does not apply. There are many recommendations for weaning alcoholics from addiction with the help of both self-collected and cooked mushrooms, and with the help of some “highly effective natural preparations”, but this has nothing to do with official medicine. They are all sold as “nutritional supplements”, not as a licensed drug, are dietary supplements (bioactive biological supplements) that do not need to be licensed as a medical product. Unfortunately, many people, distrustful of “official” medicine, willingly believe in “old methods”, the method of treating an alcoholic without his knowledge is especially popular. I would like to see how “without the knowledge of the patient” he is treated with rectal suppositories, a course of at least two months.

I would especially like to emphasize that with mushroom treatment for alcoholism by the “grandmother’s method”, without the knowledge of the patient, it is physically impossible to calculate the dosage. The recommended dosage when taking ready-made dietary supplements is a preparation from gray dung beetle in the form of a dry powder, 1-2 grams of powder per day. But it is absolutely unrealistic to calculate the dose when serving a roast with mushrooms. It is also unrealistic to limit the dose of alcohol without arousing suspicion.

There are many cases reported by the wives of alcoholics that an attempt to “treat with mushrooms” led to completely unexpected results. It is assumed that a person with alcohol dependence will begin to develop a negative attitude towards alcohol after he repeatedly became ill after drinking. However, alcoholics should not be considered fools. The observation “I ate and drank at home – it became bad, drank and ate at work or with a friend – everything is fine” leads to the fact that people simply refuse to dine at home. And constant drinking without a normal snack leads to terrible consequences. Or another situation: “I ate dung beetles, drank well, but there was no vomiting. He sits all red, choking and continues to drink. With such a reaction to koprin, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases significantly, the liver may fail, self-medication must be stopped immediately, because each next portion can become fatal.

With sincere sympathy for everyone who has a problem with alcoholism in the family: leave alone dung beetles, “grandmother’s methods” will not help, they do more harm. Alcoholism is a medical problem.

Continued here: Dung beetle mushroom and alcohol: myths around koprin

Photos used for illustrations: Vitaly Gumenyuk, Tatiana_A.

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