Holi, the festival of colours is an ancient spring festival. People smear gulal on each other, but is that safe. This time enjoy a chemical free Holi with natural colours…
With Holi round the corner it is that time of the year when we can devour the scrumptious gujiyas and guzzle down the thandai. With all this there are showers of vibrant colours from pichkari’s and gulal smeared faces all over.
While we are all covered in gulal top to bottom, one thing which we forget is the hazardous effects of these colours. In ancient times these colours were made from flowers and other non toxic materials. But now days, the natural organic colours have been replaced by deadly chemical substances such as talc, asbestos, silica or chalk. These not only cause eye and skin diseases but are also carcinogenic. Did you know that the red colour is made from mercury sulphite, green from copper sulphate, black from lead oxide and powdered glass and purple colour from bromide and chromium compounds? All these are carcinogenic and lead to some allergy or skin irritation.
Just imagine if we put these colours on our children what effects they will have. Also, paediatricians advise not to apply colour directly on a baby’s skin who is less than six months. So let’s take a pledge this Holi by celebrating it in a natural and safe environment. Making a conscious effort to make it fun and safe for children as well as others will help us reduce the hazards.
Try making these natural colours at home to enjoy a safe and natural Holi:
Dry Colour: Crush mehendi leaves, or henna powder, use it alone or mix it with flour. Also, mint and fenugreek leaves can be crushed and made into a powder.
Wet Colour: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, coriander, radish and fenugreek can be made into a paste and mixed in water. Can’t think of a better natural way and also loaded with nutrition. 🙂
Dry Colour: Red sandalwood is a good substitute for red gulal as it has a beautiful colour and also beneficial for the skin. Dried red hibiscus flowers can also be crushed and mixed with flour.
Wet Colour: Beetroot boiled in water and left overnight can be used. Similarly, red sandalwood rose petals and hibiscus can also be boiled and left overnight. In hills usually Rhododendrons are soaked in water and left overnight to give a nice red colour.
Dry Colour: When Jacaranda flowers are dried and shade and ground to a powder it gives a beautiful blue hue.
Wet Colour: Indigo plant leaves and berries can be crushed and boiled and added with water to create the desired strength.
Dry Colour: Turmeric powder or besan can be mixed with flour for a sunny yellow. Both haldi and besan are very good for skin. Flowers like Amaltas, Marigold (Gainda) and yellow chrysanthemums have different shades of the yellow. Dried petals of these flowers can be crushed to get a powder or can be mixed with besan or flour.
Wet Colour: Soaking turmeric and flowers like Amaltas, Marigold (Gainda) and yellow chrysanthemums give nice bright yellow colours. Also, saffron can be soaked in water to give a bright colour.
Dry Colour: None other than the Flame of the forest also known as Teshu, Dhak or Palash is the traditional Holi colour. As per mythology Lord Krishna used to play Holi with this flower. The flower can be dried and crushed into a powder.
Wet Colour: Boil Teshu in water and leave it overnight. Also, petals of Semul and dried Harashringar flowers can be soaked in water to give a flaming orange.
For other colours like pink, soak pomegranate or rated beetroot in water overnight. For brown, boil coffee or tea leaves in water, also, powdered henna can be used with water which gives a pucca rang. For purple and black colours use jamuns and black grapes. Also soak amla or gooseberry overnight for black.
While there is still time left for the festival of colours, along with preparing the mouth watering delicacies also prepare these natural and organic colours.
So go ahead and play with these colours and shout with glee“burra mat mano holi hai”
Wishing all my readers a very happy, safe and a colourful HOLI!!!
Do let me know if you made any colour from this.
Source: Holi Festival