What is a Toadstool?

When was the Toadstool Discovered? How is it Beneficial for the Ecosystem? What are the Health Benefits of Toadstools? What is Mushroom or Toadstool Poisoning?
What is a Toadstool

Other than their original and basic names, we see that various names are given to objects, vegetables, and fruits. One such name I came across today is a toadstool. No! A toadstool is not a stool in a toad shape, and it is not a toad or a stool individually either. Read below to learn what is a toadstool, toadstool scientific name & is toadstool poisonous or not.

1. What is Toadstool Scientific Name?

To understand what is a toadstool, we should know about its history. Back in the 14th century, the word toadstool originated in England when people used this term in the context of stool for the toad. There are several varieties of mushrooms, and hence, they possess different scientific names depending on the species they belong to. The most common button mushroom is called Agaricus Bisporus while Amanita Muscaria is the most common toadstool scientific name given to mushrooms.

Toadstools are generally mushrooms that are inedible and poisonous, though there is not much evidence found about it. Unlike frogs, a toad secretes poison from its skin, and there are several varieties of poisonous mushrooms in the wild. Toads can be seen sitting on the large-spongy heads of mushrooms just like in storybooks. So the name stands justified in fairy tales of plants. (See Why is Agriculture Important?)

2. How are Mushrooms and Toadstools Physically Different?

Mushrooms or toadstools are a type of fungus that grows in the jungle in a number of different varieties. They are almost the same if the poison ratio is not considered. Though there are no formal differences between mushroom and toadstools, their parts can be categorized as follows:

  • Toadstool is the name given to the spore-bearing reproductive part of the mushroom. Mushroom is used for defining these umbrella-shaped fungal bodies which are the fruity or fleshy parts of the fungi. 
  • There are three parts of a mushroom known as lamellae (gills), stipe (stem), and pileus (cap).
  • The vegetative part of the mushroom from which all mushrooms grow is known as mycelium.
  • Shapes of mushrooms or toadstools depends on their variety and age.

Mushrooms are found in the domed cap on a stalk, with gills on the underside of the caps, whereas toadstool is found typically in the form of a rounded cap on a stalk. (Also read Types of Ivy Plants and Facts). 

what is a toadstool 1: what is a toadstool?

3. Why is it Beneficial for the Ecosystem?

You know, what is a toadstool, let’s read what it does to the ecosystem. Mushrooms or toadstools are helpful for both humans and nature in different ways.

  • In nature, they act as natural decomposers and help break down complex nutrients in the soil into simple compounds. These compounds are derived from the soil by the plant’s roots and act as nutrition for plants.
  • They also help in regulating carbon dioxide in our environment.
  • Mushrooms act as a food source for many animals in the wild, including mammals, insects, and invertebrates. (See Hydroponics: Plants That Grow In Water Only)

4. What Health Benefits do Toadstools Provide?

Let’s read about its health benefits as you have already read what is a toadstool. Being a rich source of minerals and vitamins, mushrooms provide several health benefits such as:

  • Toadstools are used in reducing blood pressure lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and risk of strokes.
  • Mushrooms are a healthy substitute for meat because of their high protein content.
  • Chaga mushrooms are famous for their high ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). They help in protecting the body from the impact of free radicals and be used in cancer treatments for their anti-cancerous properties. Chaga tea, also known as toadstool tea is basically prepared with edible mushrooms and is a common name among health enthusiasts. 
  • Toadstool extracts help in stimulating the spleen lymphocytes which help improve overall body immunity.

So because of the above-mentioned health-enriching properties, Chaga mushrooms are used to build resistance against several diseases. (See 10 Rose Apple Benefits)

what is a toadstool 2: what is a toadstool?

5. Is Toadstool Poisonous?

Almost 70 to 80 varieties of Mushrooms are harmful to humans because of the presence of toxic substances like muscarine, and phalline. One of the most deadly mushrooms in the United Kingdom is the Death Cap Mushroom scientifically known as Amanita Phalloides. Some mushrooms are known as destroying angels because of toxic alkaloids that can cause severe health problems like:

  • A person will have symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, excessive salvation, perspiration, watery eyes, etc., within a few hours of consuming the mushrooms. However, recovery is possible within twelve hours if timely treatment is provided.
  • On consuming Death Cap mushroom, the symptoms include severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, and vomiting. Because of excess fluid loss within a few hours of consumption, the person may feel intense thirst.
  • Soon the impact is felt on the kidneys, liver, and central nervous system, resulting in a coma or death, in severe cases. (Also read How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots)
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