Tell us about KÄÄPÄ
KÄÄPÄ Biotech is the main company behind KÄÄPÄ Health. We’re a biotechnological company for all things mushrooms. We started 2 years ago to build our KÄÄPÄ Forest subdivision, which has evolved into the largest organic chaga cultivation network in the world. We work with Finnish forest owners and cultivate chaga in organic certified birch forests in massive scale. Through this business model, we’re able to shift forest owners from clear cutting practices and seeing forests in a more holistic way. By doing this, our cultivation networks’ forest owners are able to preserve the forest ecosystem while still profiting economically.
Tell us about KÄÄPÄ Health
KÄÄPÄ Health grows mushrooms in the best environment for fungi, ecosystems and humans. Our KÄÄPÄ Mushroom farm in Finland grows medicinal mushrooms in birch logs. Cultivating mushrooms outside on logs takes up to 2 years for mushrooms to finally develop. By using wood substrate we create a natural food source for mushrooms. Along side with pure air, clean soil and water we have the ultimate place for mushrooms to grow.
Where do you grow your mushrooms?
We're a 100% Finnish company: KÄÄPÄ mushroom farm produces shiitake, Lion’s mane, reishi, maitake, and turkey tail. Our organic chaga foraging network in Lapland delivers us chaga, and KÄÄPÄ HQ grows cordyceps.
When choosing a mushroom product we recommend you asking: Where do your mushrooms come from?
Can you tell us why you only use fruiting bodies, and don’t sell mycelium-based products?
Great question! One way to frame this question is would you use twigs and roots in your apple pie? When we say mushrooms we really mean it: it’s a dirty secret of the mushroom industry to use so-called Mycelium On Grain to produce ”mushroom products” that don’t actually contain any mushroom fruiting bodies. In Europe we don’t have laws that regulate product labeling to state if the product actually has been made with mushrooms or mycelium. In the US, they have a law that separates those two very different ingredients.
Mushroom fruiting bodies contain important immune modulating compounds called beta-glucans. Difference is huge when compared to Mycelium on Grain based products that might only have starch (polysaccharide).
KÄÄPÄ Health only uses mushroom fruiting bodies* (*technically chaga is called a mushroom conk). This guarantees you have a potent and honest mushroom product in your hand.
At Functional Self we really like food-based supplements because the nutrients are more bioavailable. Can you tell us about some of the medicinal compounds in your products, and what health benefits these may have?
Another big step to make sure you’re consuming a potent extract is the extraction process. Mushrooms have a cell wall made of chitin which is a very hard to break compound, but we need to do that to make the extracts bioavailable. You should always make sure your mushroom extracts are extracted properly so that those compounds you’re after are bioavailable.
We use a simple, but effective dual extraction process of alcohol and hot water. This makes sure all the water soluble and non-water soluble compounds are found in the liquid extract. We specify each mushrooms’ extraction process to optimize the end-product to what we call ”Compounds of Interest”:
Chaga mushroom has been used for a long time for it’s high levels of antioxidants. Chaga has also been shown to inhibit oxidative DNA & RNA damage.
Cordyceps contains a compound called cordycepin. It’s used to raise energy levels and to increase VO2max. Cordyceps increases ATP availability on mitochondrial level. ATP is essential for delivering energy to the muscles.
Shiitake compounds called lentinan and other beta-glucans that have been studied for their immune modulating properties.
Maitake contains high amounts of l-ergothioneine, a strong antioxidant. A compound in maitake called d-fraction has been studied to support in some forms of cancer treatments.
Why did you choose a liquid extract tincture as opposed to a powder or capsule form?
Using any extract the best and quickest way for the body to digest is sublingually. Place the tincture under your tongue for some seconds and swallow. This way the compounds seem into your blood system the best.
If you feel like that’s one step too deep into the world of mushrooms, add the tinctures to any drink or recipe.
What advice would you give for a customer who is finding it difficult to choose between the different soma tinctures? And what is the best way of taking the soma tinctures?
Eventually you’ll find your own way, but here’s one example of a day filled with mushrooms:
Morning: cordyceps for energy
Midday: chaga for after lunch coffee
Afternoon: Immune boost with maitake and shiitake
Use whatever drink you’d have anyways and add your favourite mushroom. However don’t add cordyceps to your evening drink, as that’ll keep you up longer than you’d want!
Always start off testing how your body reacts with 1ml of each mushroom per day. Gradually increase to a level you feel comfortable with.
Can you tell us your views on sustainability, and how this impacts on your production process?
We collaborate with forest owners by growing chaga and lion’s mane. Our aim is to create more sustainable options to clear cutting and selling their forest for pulp. We feel like it’s our responsibility to create new, innovative ways for the forest industry to understand the untapped world of mushrooms.
What would you like everyone to know about the importance of mushrooms to our wellbeing?
Mushrooms are closer to humans in their ancestry than they are to plants: both take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, and we also fight the same viruses. By extracting the compounds mushrooms develop to fight viruses and other pathogens, we humans can benefit from the amazing world of fungi.