Adaptogens are plant-based substances (herbs and mushrooms) that help our bodies respond to emotional and environmental stressors.  They can be used to support energy levels, immune function, hormonal balance, mental clarity/calm, and even your external beauty.  That’s right, daily adaptogens & herbs are crucial pieces of our beauty routines!

Working supportive herbs and adaptogens into any daily routine is CocoGlow’s reason for being.  We feel so passionately about this, because we have both experienced the unbelievable difference it can make in your life, both physically and emotionally.  We have both had some rough times with our health in the past, in ways that affected our physical appearances, and in turn, our mental health.  Discovering the magic of these plant-based powerhouses changed our lives, and we have been both grateful & obsessed ever since!

If you are new to exploring the addition of adaptogens and herbs into your diet, it can be a little overwhelming (and potentially costly).  Figuring out which ones work well for you, for the kind of support you are looking for, and for a pleasant experience takes time.  The good news is – it’s a really fun, experimental process!  Taking a little extra time to add a self care ritual to your morning or evening routine feels special on its own, and over a little time you will also begin to feel the physical and emotional boost herbs and adaptogens can provide.

Along the path you will find that some of them taste delicious and are easy to incorporate into your food/drink/supplement routines.  Others taste completely disgusting, (even though they have such wonderful things to offer your body), and you have no idea how to hide their taste in something else more delicious.  And in some cases, I mean really seriously gross, haha.

Having been through this process ourselves, we are here to help!  A few years ago, we realized what a delicious adaptogenic hot chocolate drink we had created to enjoy on our own at home.  It was supporting us physically, and it tasted great.  We noticed a few local juice bars served something similar, but not as potent, and far too sweet (and expensive to work into a a regular routine).  Then came the idea to add Chinese herbs to the mixture.  That was the day CocoGlow was born.  It was such a natural process and such a blur that we can’t even pinpoint the exact moment we decided to turn it into a business.  But we did, and since then we have introduced a total of four CocoGlow Blends.  Two are cacao-based, and two are savory broth mixes. We personally use all of them regularly.  A new CocoGlow blend has to pass a few tests before its release – it has to have powerful ingredients, it has to taste good, it has to be quick & easy to use, and it has to be something we would use ourselves on a regular basis.  If we feel good using it, then we feel good sharing it.

Whether or not you give CocoGlow a try, here are a few easy ways you can start adding adaptogenic herbs & mushrooms into your daily routine:

  1. Add a teaspoon of CocoGlow Classic to your morning coffee, tea, or smoothie.  This cacao-based blend contains Maca, Lucuma, He Shou Wu, Astragalus.  It is particularly good for hormonal balance.  It’s quick, easy, and enjoyable to add to your morning.
  2. Try Ashwagandha – Stress Relief!  This adaptogenic herb is very helpful for lowering cortisol levels, and helping to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.  I personally take Ashwagandha before bed every night, because it helps me sleep better.  Otherwise, my mind tends to wonder & worry.
  3. Experiment with adaptogenic mushrooms like Cordyceps, Reishi, or Chaga.  These mushrooms are easily found in powdered forms.  Mushrooms help to reduce fatigue and support mental sharpness.  They are often high in Vitamin D and immune-boosting properties as well.  To be clear, these are not psychedelic mushrooms.
  4. Make yourself a tea out of fresh grated ginger root & turmeric root.  Just grate it into a cup and add hot water.  Use this for digestive support, and to fight inflammation.
  5. If you like savory flavors, give our Daily Broth or Daily Detox Broth a try!  These taste absolutely delicious, and you can add the dry mix to all kinds of foods.  Sprinkle it on popcorn for a savory, adaptogenic snack.  Or, enjoy a warm cup in the afternoon during the 4:00 energy slump.  Both blends contain medicinal mushrooms, herbs, and nutritional yeast.
  6. If you like sweeter things, try experimenting with adding Maca or Lucuma to your mornings.  These are good mixed into coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt.  They have a very light sweetness to them, and a slight caramel-y flavor.  Maca is a bit more maple-like in taste, and Lucuma has more of the caramel flavor.  Both are roots of South American plants.  They are known to be used for hormonal balance, fertility, energy/endurance, and metabolic function.
  7. Try drinking hibiscus & rose petal tea for your beautiful skin!  Hibiscus and rose have both been used historically to support complexion.  This is one of my favorite routines.  It’s a beautiful bright pink color, and has a delicious tart taste.  You feel beautiful just drinking the tea.  Plus, you will be getting lots of anti-oxidants (like Vitamin C), to fight off cell-damaging free radicals.  The fragrance of rose is a mood booster as well.

These are just a few tips to try as you start your experimentation with herbs and adaptogens.  That being said, it is always a good idea to check in with your doctor or healthcare provider when taking new herbs or supplements, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking any medications.  This is a lot of fun, but we want everybody to be safe too!


Nicole Bryson & Emily Bartha are longtime besties, and co-founders of COCOGLOW, an herbal beauty foods company based in Portland, OR.  Emily is a graduate of OCOM, a licensed acupuncturist, and board certified herbalist (and new mom to the most adorable baby boy!)  Her practice, Turning Pointe Acupuncture, is located in the Hawthorne/Mt. Tabor neighborhood in Portland.  Nicole works for a financial advisory firm, but she is super hot for plants. She spends her personal time dedicated to plant-based nutrition, recipe making, and studying herbal remedies.  She is currently working toward her health coach certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  Working together in a wellness/beauty space is a dream come true for these BFFs.