Hi Sandra, Do you have any natural medicine tips for cracked and split lips that I just can't get rid of? Thanks, Sarah.

Hi Sarah, thanks for your question. This is a common problem that causes frustration for many people. Sometimes we can experience a temporary situation of cracked or split lips from environmental exposure such as harsh wind or sun, but if it has become a chronic problem that isn't resolving, this is an indication that you need to look for deeper causes.

If you haven't already done so, get a comprehensive check-up with your primary healthcare provider to assess for any underlying problems. Deficiencies of iron, zinc and B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), folate (B9) and biotin are all associated with inflammation of the lips and cracking at the corners of the mouth. Solving the problem can be as simple as correcting the deficiency if this is the underlying cause. Supplementation for a period is likely to be required and a natural healthcare professional can guide you with this. Check out the website of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists to find a registered natural healthcare specialist in your area.

Over the long term, you should look to be getting your iron, zinc and B-vitamins from food sources to ensure the problem does not recur. You may also want to check if you have sufficient good oils in your diet as dry lips can be a reflection of too much underlying dryness in the body.

Traditional Medicine also points to malabsorption of nutrients from poor digestion as being a potential cause of lip problems. You can support optimal digestion by eating in a calm manner, choosing real food rather than processed alternatives and promoting stomach acid and digestive enzyme production with the use of bitter plant medicines such as Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) and Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) before your meals. Both of these plants increase the flow of digestive juices, enhance the appetite and support the breakdown of food for better nutrient absorption.


While you work on correcting the underlying issue of chronic lip problems, you can soothe your lips and speed up the healing process with the topical application of vulnerary plants - these are herbs that have a healing action on damaged tissue. Two of the best for cracked and split lips are Calendula (Calendula officinalis) and St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum).

St. John's Wort flowerheads have proven skin protecting and regenerating properties, and help to repair epithelial damage of skin. Calendula flowers have wound healing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and skin restoring properties. Healing creams and balms made with plant oils and plant extracts are naturally protective and allow the skin to breathe and regenerate unlike mineral oil derivatives such as petroleum or paraffin in conventional creams which may dry up the lips even further. Apply the natural cream or balm to the lips, three to four times daily, until your lips are healed.

I hope this response has provided some further insight for you. If this condition worsens or does not improve, please see your leading healthcare professional.

Referen Lavagna, S. M., Secci, D., Chimenti, P., Bonsignore, L., Ottaviani, A., & Bizzarri, B. (2001). Efficacy of Hypericum and Calendula oils in the epithelial reconstruction of surgical wounds in childbirth with caesarean section. Farmaco, 56(5-7), 451-453.