Monday, March 17, 2014

Chemical Holi Colors can Cause Cancer! Make Organic Colours at Home

Holi is one of the major festivals of India, played with enthusiasm and blast of colors all over you. But when these chemically loaded colors come in contact with the skin, they tend to react and cause skin related problems such as allergies and sometimes, skin cancer! The colors available in market are extremely harmful and stink due to the presence of harsh chemicals in them.

Chemicals like Aluminium bromide (silver) and mercury sulphite (red) present in chemical colours can cause skin cancers. Copper Sulphate (Green) is said to cause eye allergy and temporary blindness; Lead Oxide (Black) can cause renal failure & learning disability; Chromium Iodide (Purple) can lead to bronchial asthma & allergies. After learning this, don’t you think that using natural colors is the safest option as they would go off easily, won’t harm your skin and won’t even cost you much.

Natural colours can be easily made at home. Here are a few ideas on how to create your own natural colours and stay away from harmful chemicals. So, get set to be drenched in colours, without any worries.

Beautiful and bright Yellow colour can be prepared at home by these simple methods.
  • Dry the rind of the Bael fruit and grind to obtain a yellow colored gulal.
  • Mix turmeric powder with double the quantity of gram flour (besan) to be used as yellow gulal. Besan can be substituted by wheat, rice or talcum powder. Turmeric can also be boiled in water to get deep yellow color. 
  • Soak marigold flowers in water and boil it to get yellow color solution. 
  • Dry the petals of flowers like yellow chrysanthemum, Amaltas or marigold and grind them to obtain different shades of yellow. Use this powder with gram flour or use it separately.
Vibrant and Energetic Red is one of the most favorable colors used in Holi. Use the simple tips to make the red colour at home: 
  • Dry red rose petals by spreading them on newspaper. Grind these rose petals and use this red powder as `gulal`. 
  • Dry red hibiscus flowers in the shade and grind them to a lovely red color. 
  • The red sandalwood powder can also be used as Red Gulal. It is beneficial for skin. For wet colour, boil 2 tsp of red sandalwood powder in 5 liters of water. Dilute it with twenty liters of water to get red color solution. 
  • Mix a pinch of lime powder in half a cup of water and add 2 tsp of turmeric powder in it. Use only after diluting with 10 litres of water for red colour.
  • Peels of red pomegranate can be boiled in water to obtain red colour.
  • Madder Tree Wood can also be boiled in water to get a lovely red color. 
  • Sinduria (Annato) has a water chestnut shaped fruit, which contains lovely brick color red seeds. These can be used  to  obtain both dry and wet colors.
Saffron and orange colors are easy to prepare at home. Try these methods-
  • Add little turmeric and sandalwood powder to rose water to make a saffron color solution. 
  • Mix a pinch of sandalwood powder in 1 litre of water for an instant, beautiful and fragrant saffron color.
  • Collect and dry the stalks of Harashringar flowers during the early winter season. Soak them in water to get a pleasant orange color.
  • The flowers, Tesu, Palash or Dhak can be soaked overnight in water and can also be boiled to obtain a fragrant yellowish orange colored water.
  • Soak a few stalks of Saffron in 2 tbsp of water. Leave for few hours and grind to make a fine paste. Dilute with water for desired color strength.
Green Colour has a calming and healing effect, in its natural and herbal form. To prepare the same at home, go for these suggested
  • Use Henna (mehendi) powder mixed with equal quantity of any flour to attain a lovely green shade. Dry mehendi will not leave color on your face as it can be easily brushed off. Only mehendi mixed in water might leave a slight color on face. To prepare wet colour, mix 2 tsp of mehendi in a litre of water and stir well.
  • Gulmohar, spinach, coriander or mint leaves can be dried and ground to get a rich green gulal. Dry and finely powder the Gulmohur tree leaves for a natural Green gulal.
  • Crush the tender leaves of the Wheat plant to obtain a natural safe green Holi color.
Blue and Magenta are the colors of new beginnings and creative expression. Learn about the simple ways to prepare these at home-
  • Crush berries of the Indigo tree and add to water for desired color strength. The leaves of Indigo plant can also yield rich blue color, when boiled in water. 
  • Jacaranda flowers that bloom in summers can be dried in the shade and ground to obtain a lovely blue gulal.
  • Grate one beetroot and soak it in water overnight for a wonderful magenta solution. Boil or leave overnight for a deeper shade.
Holi can be fun by using environment friendly colours. Let’s explore the fascinating world of natural harmless colours that not only are gentle on our skin but are also helping to save our environment and conserve our biodiversity. Celebrating an eco-friendly holi can make a difference to this colorful festival. So, work out these fabulous options and have a happy and safe holi.

May This Festival Fills Your Life with Colours of Love, Happiness, Health and Success! 
Wishing You a Very Happy and Colourful Holi!

Note: While natural colours are usually considered safe, do look out for any reactions or rashes. Each person is different and people with sensitive skin may react to everyday herbs or ingredients.