Swollen red patches in the corners on the outside of your lips are known as Angular Cheilitis. This condition is often accompanied by painful symptoms like sores in one or both corners of the mouth and dry lips. In Western medicine it is said to be caused by either too much saliva in the corner of the mouth that then causes the skin to get soft and crack, or a lack of B-Vitamins. In TICM, this also is true, but we can take it one step deeper to try and relieve this unpleasant symptom. Our Spleen governs our mouth and lips and oversees fluid metabolism. So, dry and cracked lips are a sign that there are issues with fluid metabolism in the digestive system. Our Spleen is responsible for transforming and transporting food and nutrients throughout the body. The Spleen extracts Qi energy from the food we eat to build immunity, Blood, and promote proper circulation. The emotion closely associated with the Spleen is worry and overthinking. The Spleen is not only in charge of digesting our food, but all the information we observe throughout the day. That is why in TICM we say to focus on one activity at a time, not to eat while watching television, looking at the mobile or reading and being happy while you eat and not speaking negatively. Spleen Qi deficiency symptoms include bloating, digestion difficulties, a pale tongue with teeth marks on the sides, super dry lips, fatigue, loose stools, and weak muscles. Lips can also become pale when Spleen Qi is weak. To boost Spleen function it is imperative to eat consistent meals daily, never skipping breakfast. The Spleen and Stomach crave warm and moist foods. That is why TCM physician’s love having sweet potatoes for breakfast. Have congee, oatmeal, and warm ginger powder tea with warming spices like cinnamon. Avoid ice drinks and raw foods for the time being to help the Spleen assimilate the foods taken in. You will notice your lips healing too. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are great too.