Dry lips or hands? Chinese medicine can help you

Dry lips or hands? Chinese medicine can help you

Smear, smear, the smear is not a solution for chapped lips and rough hands. But then what? This article explains. “Chronic dry lips or hands indicate that the stomach or spleen is not able to do its job properly.”

If you have chronically dry lips or hands, you can investigate whether there is a mental or emotional cause that is preventing your stomach and spleen from functioning optimally.

An addiction

Do you rub your dry lips with lip balm a few times a day? Or your hands with cream? You’re not the only one. Some people grease their lips, or hands, almost every hour. When that happens in my practice, I usually point out to clients or students that it resembles an addiction. The answer is often that they use a natural lip balm or cream so as not to harm their bodies. It may not damage it immediately, but the constant smearing does maintain a vicious circle. Chinese medicine explains why and shows what you can do to enable your lips and hands to produce enough moisture.

Why smearing is counterproductive

Dry lips or hands? Chinese medicine can help you

Lip balm, also the natural version, is intended as an emergency solution, not for structural use. Healthy lips consist of three to five layers of skin that renew themselves in about a month. This keeps your lips supple and sufficiently moist. This process can occasionally be disrupted, for example by illness, weather conditions, or unhealthy food. Greasing it a few times is fine. But if you smear for days, weeks, or months at a time, you’re hindering the lips from renewing their skin. Old skin cells cannot be removed properly, resulting in even more flaking and a dry, tight feeling. The same principle applies to excessive greasing with hand cream.

Three golden nutritional advice

According to Chinese medicine, the stomach and spleen together regulate the moisture balance of our body. Both organs fall under the element Earth. The stomach extracts moisture from our food, and the spleen converts that moisture into building materials for our bodily fluids (blood, lymph, mucous membranes, etc.) and ensures that they end up in the right places. Chronically dry lips or hands indicate that the stomach and/or spleen are not able to do their job properly.

Because the organs of the Earth element are digestive organs, adjusting your diet is ideally suited to restore their moisture-regulating function. 3 golden rules apply:

  1. Steam or boil all your meals; add some raw topping if desired.
  2. Take products that contain sufficient moisture and juice and are not too spicy. Rice cakes and crackers, onion, leek, garlic, and chili peppers make it extra difficult for your stomach to get enough moisture from your food.
  3. Extremely sweet and mucus-forming foods block the fluid transport of the spleen. Therefore, the use of sugars and animal milk products is very limited.

Support your stomach and spleen

Mild and nutritious meals such as a hot cereal for breakfast, a pumpkin-lentil soup for lunch, and your usual hot meal for dinner support your Earth element. You eat bread occasionally, as a side dish. Are you used to seasoning your food spicy? Then gradually switch to milder seasonings such as sage, mint, coriander leaves, dill, and parsley.

The Emotional Cause: Lack of Trust

Dry lips or hands? Chinese medicine can help you

Working holistically on your health means looking at the deeper meaning of what is going on. If you have chronically dry lips or hands, you can investigate whether there is a mental or emotional cause that is preventing your stomach and spleen from functioning optimally. The energy of the Earth’s organs interacts with our ability to compassion, care, and focus. When you worry a lot or keep grinding, it asks too much of the qi (life energy) of your stomach and spleen. There is then too little left to carry out their tasks on a physical level.

Showing compassion and caring for others is beautiful, but that also involves trust. Trust in the self-healing ability and in life itself. If you rely on that, you can be there for someone else without being absorbed in worrying about that person. If you trust that, you also know that your own body is able to repair itself and you feel less dependent on external aids such as lip balm and hand cream. When your thoughts are getting in the way and it’s hard to concentrate – also an Earth quality – it helps to regularly consciously bring your attention to the soles of your feet and ground more.

Decrease step by step

Dry lips or hands? Chinese medicine can help you

Do you want to take care of your dry lips or hands in a different way? And are you open to change, both on a physical and mental level? Then you can start phasing out your use of lip balm or hand cream today! Do it step by step. Give yourself time to get used to your new eating habits and to practice self-confidence and grounding. The first step: stop putting your balm or cream in your bag, desk drawer, or pocket.

A changing schedule for you

This can be a good schedule to phase out and adjust your diet:

  • Week 1 + 2
    Apply a maximum of 3x a day and introduce a warm breakfast.
  • Week 3 + 4
    Apply a maximum of 2x a day and replace sugars (including cookies and candies) with some (dried) fruit, agave syrup, and/or nuts.
  • Week 5 + 6
    Apply a maximum of 1x per day and introduce a warm lunch. You can also eat leftovers from the night before (cold).
  • Week 7 + 8
    No more greasing daily and possibly replace animal milk products and sharp herbs.

The most important thing is that you find a changing schedule that suits you. Maybe your lips or hands need more time, maybe you mentally need more time. It’s all fine. Realize that you can start over every day and that it takes an average of three months before a new habit no longer feels ‘new’. After a while, your skin will be able to keep itself sufficiently flexible under normal circumstances and greasing will no longer be an issue for you. Good luck!


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