I saw a comment here that implied that consumption of the spice (in Dune by Frank Herbert) caused blue lips. Is there any evidence of that? I only remember the blue within blue eyes.

Spice giving its users blue lips is from Frank Herbert's Dune series, which I don't think this is, so you're probably right that it's mixed up with a different book.

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    red lips* are found on mentats, for the drug they take to enhance their abilities. which may be what this person was attempting to refer too.
    – Himarm
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 20:34
  • i also feel there was a drug that made mentats lips go blue, but i cant find it right now, i think it was some experimental drug in the expanded dune series, but again i haven't found anything yet about it.
    – Himarm
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 20:57
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    Grape Pixy-Stix did it when I was a kid.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 22:13
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    See my answer. Mentats have red lips, Suk Doctors have purple lips. Everyone else has normal coloured lips.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 23:01
  • I had not remembered the mentat lips, thanks for bringing that up.
    – amalgamate
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 13:51

4 Answers 4


There are literally dozens of mentions of the lips of various spice-using characters in original six books of the Dune series by Frank Herbert, short stories and follow-on books by Brian Herbert. Lips are licked, curled, pursed, pouted, patted, parted and wetted on a nearly clockwork basis but none of these mentions are accompanied by any suggestion that the lips are blue or have taken on the same blue tinge we see in the eyes of spice addicts.

The OP may be mistaken for Suk Conditioning which seems to turn the lips a dark purple colour (Yueh is frequently described as having dark or purple lips) or Mentat Conditioning which is often accompanied by heroic consumption of Sapho juice which turns the lips a vivid red colour.

Original Book series (Frank Herbert)

The closest we get to a description of lip colour is in Dune Messiah where we see a description of Korba's lips turning "white with fear", a coloration that would be impossible if they were blue.

It's also worthy of note that in Children of Dune, Farad'n has managed to conceal his spice addiction with the artful use of contact lenses. Obviously this would not be possible if there was a substantial discoloration of the lips:

Farad’n touched his own eyelids, feeling the hard surfaces of the permanent contact lenses which concealed the total blue of his spice addiction.

New Book Series (Brian Herbert)

In Paul of Dune we see a Fremen warrior who has nearly drowned

Enno was completely limp, not breathing. His lips were pale blue, his skin clammy, his eyes closed.

again, this would be consistent with normally coloured lips in a person who had drowned.

Other non-canon materials

The Dune Encyclopedia (considered canon at the time of writing but since de-canonised by Frank Herbert's son) makes no mention of blueing of the lips in its list of symptoms of melange ingestion.

  • There is no blueing of the lips in the made-for-tv adaptation

  • There is no blueing of the lips in either of the feature films


2020 (probably)

  • I cannot remember anything about Suks having purple lips. It would not make that much sense either, since the distinguishing property of Suks is a mental conditioning, so it should not have any physiological effects.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 7:54
  • Yueh is regularly described as having dark lips or purple lips. "Yueh's purple lips turned up in a grimace" - Dune.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:22
  • But is it put in any relation to his Suk training? These descriptions may very well fit to some real people’s lips. Anyway, making any qualified statement about Suk doctors has the inherent problem that Herbert seemed to have forgot about their existence after the first book.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:37
  • @Wrzlprmft - There's no reference to it being linked to his training but the colour is evidently quite pronounced.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:48
  • I do not dispute that, but you cannot deduce anything from this. This would be like concluding that all Fremen women are elfin because Chani is stated to be this again and again in the first book.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 10:01

No, as far as I remember there isn't any evidence of spice turning your lips to blue. We know that the eyes turn to blue

Extensive use of the drug tints the sclera, cornea and iris of the user to a dark shade of blue, called "blue-in-blue" or "the Eyes of Ibad,"

-- Herbert, Frank (1965). "Terminology of the Imperium: IBAD, EYES OF". Dune. "IBAD, EYES OF: characteristic effect of a diet high in melange wherein the whites and pupils of the eyes turn a deep blue (indicative of deep melange addiction)."

We also see that with Paul. Also:

The taller of the two, though, held a hand to his left eye. As the Emperor watched, someone jostled the Guildsman's arm, the hand moved, and the eye was revealed. The man had lost one of his masking contact lenses, and the eye stared out a total blue so dark as to be almost black.

-- From the first Dune book

But not any mention of the lips turning blue or any color at all.


No. Is it possible that the poster was confusing spice with sapho juice?

Both of these are addictive substances in the Dune universe, and both of them leave marks on the user's body. But the marks are very different in nature: spice stains the user's eyes blue, while sapho juice stains the user's lips red. Neither one is a perfect match for the comment that the question cites, but if the poster mixed them up, that could explain the mistake.

  • My guess is that they're thinking of Yueh who's consistently described as having purple lips.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 17:40

No. In the books it is mentioned at least once that the (only) action taken to disguise spice addiction was to surgically replace the individual's eyeballs with ones from someone not addicted.

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