A man in the United States who tried to inject magic mushrooms in an attempt to maximise their effect was rushed to hospital after the fungus started growing inside his bloodstream.

The 30-year-old Nebraska man had been taken to the emergency room after his family noticed that he had a wide range of worrying physical symptoms and appeared to be confused and disoriented.

It emerged that he had been prescribed opioid type drugs to help control his bipolar disorder, and had been hoping to find a more natural remedy for his condition.

He read about the potential for psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to treat patients diagnosed with chronic anxiety and long-term, clinically diagnosed depression.

However, instead of taking the drug in the conventional manner - it’s usually taken either as a food or as a dried powder in capsules - the man decided to experiment with administering it to himself intravenously.

Magic mushrooms
The man believed he would achieve a more potent effect by introducing the fungus directly into his bloodstream

According to a case report published this week in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, the man dissolved the mushrooms in boiling water, filtered the liquid through a cotton wool ball, and then injected it.

Within days, he became severely unwell. He suffered severe fatigue, nausea and diarrhoea, and started vomiting blood.

By the time doctors examined the patient, he was delirious, and they diagnosed multiple organ failure - his liver and both of his kidneys were struggling to cope with the levels of toxin in his bloodstream.

Magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms are a naturally-occurring hallucinogenic but it is all too easy to eat a similar-looking poisonous fungus by mistake

The mushrooms - which thrive in dark, wet and warm environments, had actually started growing inside his body. The patient needed to be placed on a ventilator to keep him alive while his blood was filtered to remove the microscopic mushroom spores.

After some 22 days in hospital the man was sent home with a prescription for two different powerful antibiotics and an anti-fungal agent.

As well as a strong warning not to try injecting anything into himself again.