Holi – the festival of colours – fills almost everyone with zest and fervour. As opposed to other festivals, Holi is one occasion where the clothes, matching accessories, make-up and brands don’t matter at all. However, one thing that does matter is the quality of the colours being used because a moment of incautious fun may amount to a lot of skin trouble later.
Here are a few easy techniques to make 100% organic and natural colours at home that will make your Holi memorable and absolutely safe.
Red Sandal Wood Powder, which has a beautiful red colour, is extremely beneficial for the skin and can be used in place of Red Gulal.
Other methods:Dry red hibiscus flowers in shade, powder and add any flour to increase the bulk. For a bright orangish-red, mix together a pinch of lime powder (chuna) with 2 spoons of turmeric powder (haldi) and a few drops of water. Use the resulting paste only after diluting it with 10 litres of water. Peels of Red Pomegranate boiled in water, juice of tomatoes and carrots diluted with sufficient quantity of water to remove the stickiness also give a natural yet beautiful red colour.
Slice or grate one beetroot and soak it in 1 litre of water for a wonderful magenta. Boil or leave overnight for a deeper shade and dilute it before use.
Other methods:Boil the peels of 10-15 pink onions in half a litre of water for a pinkish colour. Remove the peels before using them to remove any unneeded smell. You can also soak pink Bauhinia variegate (kachnar) flowers in water overnight or boil them for a bright pink colour.
Image Courtsey: thompson-morgan
Mix two teaspoons of Turmeric powder (haldi) with double the quantity of gram flour (besan). Turmeric and gram flour have magical qualities that are very good for the skin. Ordinary flour (atta), refined wheat flour (maida), rice flour, ground nut (arra rot) powder, fuller`s earth (multani mitti) and even talcum powder can be used as substitutes for gram flour.
Other methods:Flowers like Cassia fistula (Amaltas), Marigold (Gainda), Yellow Chrysanthemums and Black Babul yield different shades of yellow. Dry the petals of these flowers in the shade and crush them to obtain a fine powder. Mix an appropriate quantity of the powder with besan or its substitutes and see your festival come alive sans any harmful effects of chemically-loaded colours.
Image Courtsey: indian-spices-exporters
Dry Jacaranda flowers (neeli gulmohar/jungle badam) in the shade and grind them to obtain a beautiful blue powder.
Other methods:The blue Hibiscus, which is found in Kerala, can be dried and powdered just like the red hibiscus, or crush berries of Indigo plant and add water to it as per the desired colour strength.
Save a trip to the parlour by using green coloured henna powder (mehendi) this Holi. Either use it separately or mix it with an equal quantity of any suitable flour to get a lovely and natural green shade. Make sure to use pure henna that does not have amla mixed in it, as this would be brown in colour. Dry henna will not leave colour on your face and can be easily brushed off, but when mixed with water it will leave a slight colour, thereby making it a fast colour.
Other methods: Dry and finely powder Gulmohur tree leaves or crush the tender leaves of the Wheat plant to obtain a natural green colour for Holi. The colour can also be obtained by mixing a fine paste of green leafy vegetables like spinach (palak), coriander (dhaniya) or mint (pudina) in water.
Soak a few stalks of Saffron (kesar) in 2 table spoons of water. Leave for a few hours and grind them to make a fine paste. Dilute that with water as per the desired colour strength.
Other methods:The Flame of the Forest – commonly known as Tesu, Palash or Dhak - is the source of the wonderful, traditional colour for Holi. According to a legend, Lord Krishna used to play Holi with Tesu flowers. For a fragrant yellowish-orange coloured water, the flowers are soaked overnight in water and can also be boiled.
Image Courtsey: bbcgoodfood
Brown is one colour that is never spotted anywhere in the colour markets during Holi, so go ahead and surprise your visitors with this different and amazing colour this Holi. Acacia catechu (Kattha) – which is commonly consumed with betel leaves (pan) - gives a brownish colour when mixed with water.
Other methods:Boil tea or coffee leaves in water. Cool it and use it.
Last but not the least comes black. Often derived from very dangerous sources like used batteries, this colour may cause a lot of trouble later. However, for a safe black colour boil dried fruits of Indian Gooseberry (Amla) in an iron vessel and leave it overnight. Dilute with water and use.
Other methods:Extract the juice of black grapes and dilute with sufficient quantity of water to remove stickiness.