How to make organic colours for Holi?
By Arti Gaur
The day after holi: pink, green and blue faces, rashes everywhere, body aches and pains—all this and more is the result of using chemical laced colours. Don’t let harsh chemicals dampen your spirits. All you have to do is raid your kitchen, kitchen garden or your granny’s spice rack and celebrate it organically. The best part, at the end of all the merriment your skin will glow. Here’s how:
• Before you leave your home make sure you massage oil (mustard/olive) into your scalp, hair and whole body. Also paint your nails to avoid colour getting into them.
• To wash off colour use a paste of gram flour (besan), wheat bran and milk and scrub yourself and then take a shower. You can also add turmeric, which is an antiseptic, to this mixture. After you take a shower remember to moisturerise.
• To prevent skin infections you can add neem. First dry the leaves, boil it and add this to any colour.
• Mix sandalwood powder in any dry colour for that sweet fragrance. You can use rose water for wet colours.
• Soak dry tesu flowers overnight in hot water. You will get a bright yellow wet colour to put in pichkaris.
• Sandalwood powder and haldi will give you a brilliant yellow dry colour.
• Take two teaspoons of turmeric powder mix this with besan (double the amount of turmeric taken) for a lovely dry colour. Instead of besan you can also use flour or arrow root. Of course this will dilute the intensity.
• Dried powder of flowers like marigold and yellow chrysanthemums also work.
Give me Red:
• Boil and crush beetroot in water to make a great red wet colour.
• For a brilliant crimson-red hue, powder roots of manjishtha (an herb) add alum and haldi. Incidentally, manjishtha is very good for the skin and used in many herbal cosmetics.
• Another great way to get a deep red dry colour is to dry red hibiscus flowers and then powder it till it turns red in color. To increase the quantity add any flour to it, however this will dilute the intensity of the colour.
• Simply take dry henna powder for green, dry colours. This will not leave any mark on your face as chemical colour or henna paste does.
• Celery powder is another great option for green, dry colour.
• For wet colour, mix two teaspoons of heena in one litre of water. Stir the mixture well and ensure that it is diluted.
• A fine paste of leaves like coriander, mint and spinach will also give you the desired result.
Arti Gaur is Ayurveda expert at Dhyan Foundation