The most loved festival all over the country is here. Kids and adults are all equally excited to enjoy the colourful festival. I am sure your Holi preparations would have started. The most joyous part of the festival is playing with colours, eating sweets with your friends & family.
Nowadays, everyone is aware of the ill-effects of using artificial colours on our body. In addition to the colours, the ‘Holika Dahan’- the ritual of bonfire must be re-considered pertaining to today’s environmental issues. The burning of wood causes increases the environmental pollutants leading to severe air pollution. In turn, it causes respiratory problems and other health issues.
Artificial colours are chemical, synthetic in nature, which causes harm not only to you but also to nature, our surrounding environment. The colours that get drained out are toxic and damages the environment. The dry colours contain chemicals like mica, silica and lead while the watercolours contain lead oxide, copper sulphate, aluminium, mercury. These chemicals cause more harm than good.
So, does this mean we should not play with colours?
Holi was celebrated even in ancient times with colours, but “natural colours”. Yes, in those days, they used only natural materials to make colour powders, that was safe to the body as well as the environment. In fact, those natural colours were beneficial to the body. In the spring season, the red bright flowers of the Indian coral tree (Parijat) and the Flame of forest (Kesu) blossoms. People used these flowers to make colour powders. As these trees have medicinal properties, it used to be beneficial for them.
Isn’t that great to know? Don’t you feel we must adapt to natural colours?
Let us play Holi this year and forever in a natural way so that it doesn’t affect us or our Earth.
Shall we start making colours from plant sources at home?
Colour – Yellow
Mix Turmeric with Besan.
Boil Marigold or Tesu flowers in water.
Mix Sandalwood powder with rose water or coconut oil to make a paste.
Bael fruit, Sunflowers, Dandelions, Daffodils, Dahlia, & Yellow Chrysanthemums are other sources for yellow colour.
Colour – Pink
Slice a beetroot and soak in water.
Sun-dry beetroot pieces and then grind to fine powder. Mix the powder with besan and use.
Colour – Green
Mix spinach, mint, and neem leaves powder in water to make a paste and use.
Neem, Henna, Rhododendron leaves, leaves of spring crops & herbs, and dried leaves of Gulmohur tree can be used.
Colour – Red
Kumkum and Raktachandan were used earlier for red colour.
Dried Rose petals and dried Hibiscus flowers can also be used. Pomegranate peels, ratanjot, radish, maize powder are other alternatives for producing a red colour.
Colour – Blue
Jacaranda flowers, Indigo, grapes species, and blue Hibiscus can be used for blue colour.
Spraying these homemade liquid dye (which is called Abeer) helps the medicinal compounds to enters the body via pores of the skin. This gives beneficial effects and also adds to our beauty. All of these powders prepared from natural substances help in detoxification and eliminates toxins from our body. Neem is a well-known insecticide, so when sprayed on the streets, it disinfects the roads.
Holi is about celebrating the Spring and not polluting our environment. Let’s vow to celebrate eco-friendly Holi now onwards. This way, we can enjoy the colour festival and protect our environment too.