November 30, 2020
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Nourish the spleen and yin to moisten the lips
The autumn wind causes the skin to remain dry constantly. The lips do not have sweat glands and sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands as protection, and do not have the stratum corneum to prevent water loss. Therefore, our lips tend to be fragile during the dry weather, and they would peel easily, become swollen, and sometimes even bleed.
Many people rely on lip balm but its moisturizing effect is not always long lasting. Why is that? From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, “Lips are the windows to the spleen, and essence are in the lips”. If the spleen does not function well, the lips will not stay hydrated, and the accumulated heat in the spleen and stomach may cause the dry lips to crack.
In order to keep the lips luscious and plump, we need to strengthen the spleen by eating more white rice, Chinese yam, gorgon nut (‘qian shi’), lotus seed, potato and sweet potato. Drink rice water daily, and avoid eating hot, spicy, raw and cold food, ad hot and spicy food will exhaust the body fluid and the qi, whereas raw and cold food can obstruct the spleen’s and stomach’s function in regulating the circulatory system.
Individuals with yin deficiency will easily develop dry lips, thus they should sleep and wake up early; and avoid sleeping late. Consume an appropriate amount of honey, lily, fig fruit, snow fungus, American ginseng and dwarf lilyturf roots (‘mai dong’), as they can help moisten the dryness and nourish the yin. If need be, apply lips mask, as it can help lock in the moisture, relieve dryness on the lips to prevent it from developing cracks.
Easy lips masks to lock in the moisture
Ingredients: An appropriate amount of Vaseline, a small piece of plastic wrap, a warm towel
Method: Apply a thick coat of Vaseline on the lips; cover the lips with a plastic wrap first, followed by a warm towel. 10 minutes later, wipe off the Vaseline from the lips.
American ginseng and radix ophiopogonis tea
Effects: nourishes yin and clears asthenic heat, alleviates thirst. Relieve symptoms caused by frequent late nights, dry mouth and dry lips.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of American ginseng, 1 tablespoon of radix ophiopogonis, honey
Preparation: Place all ingredients into thermos and rinse with hot water once. Add in hot water and steep for 5 minutes until aroma develops. Add honey to taste when the tea cool down. This tea can be re-browed until flavour weakens.
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