This is probably the question my Sasang Constitution clients ask me most frequently.  They’re wondering whether a particular new product is warming, cooling, or whether it strengthens the lung or the liver, etc.

I try to include most common foods and supplements in the food list I provide and I am often willing to test food items that I haven’t experienced before. But there is this ever-growing amount of new “foods” and supplements that I think can be screened rather quickly and you can do it yourself. Here’s how to evaluate a new product.

Check Motivation:

The most important thing to ask when you find a product online is “are they trying to sell me something?”.  I often receive links to websites from my clients for supplements they want me to evaluate for them.  There is usually about 3 or 4 pages of all the things this product will do for you with lots of testimonials.  I’m not saying that the product isn’t good.  It may very well be.  But at least think about the motivation here.  This isn’t your healthcare provider who knows you and has probably developed a personal relationship with you and actually cares whether the product helps you.

Read Ingredients:

I never ever start my investigation by reading the promotional material but instead go straight to the ingredient list. Often you can tell right away whether this product might be helpful for you. If the top items in the ingredient list are contrary to your constitution, you’ve saved a lot of time reading all the promotional material. Don’t buy this product.

Evaluate Ingredients:

Sometimes there are only one or two ingredients that aren’t good for you and they’re way down the list.  Remember the ingredient list is in the order of concentration.  Generally the further down the list they are the less impact they will have.  But if this is something that you plan on taking everyday forever, then you don’t want to be taking anything that causes an imbalance in your system.

The yin constitutions can tolerate small amounts of cooling ingredients in the short term but generally the yang constitutions don’t tolerate warming ingredients at all.  So if you’re so-yang or tai-yang you’re better off without these supplements.


Ratings Are Better Than Testimonials:

Read the ratings next.  Testimonials are always positive so while they can be helpful and show that some people have benefitted they may or may not apply to you.  Ratings on the other hand give you good and bad reports.  Be sure to read the bad reports too.  For instance when I buy shoes the good report says “perfect fit”, the bad report might say, “runs narrow”.  Since I have very narrow feet I often buy shoes where the complaint is that they run narrow.  They usually are, for me, a “perfect fit”.

Remember Nothing Works For Everyone:

I know that this product helped your best friend enormously but that doesn’t mean it will help you.  It might actually be bad for you.  With all the drugs, foods and supplements that have ever been tested there has never been anything that worked the same way for everyone.  Clinical trials have proven over and over again that we are not all the same.

Proceed Cautiously:

If you decide that the product might be helpful for you, proceed cautiously.  Take it in a lower dose than recommended.  Don’t change anything else in your diet while you’re testing it.  Pay attention if your body sends you signals.  Do not let your head interfere with these signals.  Your mind is creative by nature and can make up all kinds of things.  Your body doesn’t lie, listen and trust it.


Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for personal, professional, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.