As the ‘Festival of Colours’ is around the corner, everyone is set to smear vibrant colours on their near and dear ones. Every nook and corner of markets are donned with a myriad of colours. Unfortunately, they are synthetic in nature and made of extremely toxic chemicals that are not only harmful to us but also pollute the environment. Cheap chemicals like lead oxide, copper sulphate, aluminium bromide and mercury sulphate in these seemingly innocent colours can cause much discomfort to our body ranging from mild rashes, brittle and dry hair, itching and burning skin, and puffy eyes to severe long-term effects like bronchial asthma, allergic reactions, renal diseases, temporary blindness and even skin cancer. Moreover, it is young children who play Holi the most and hence are most prone to the harmful effects of these chemical colours. We, as parents, get extra cautious and decide not to let our children play with such colours although deep inside the heart we know Holi without colours is nothing but a damp squib. Some of us even resort to costly Eco-friendly colours that are nowadays available in the market although their reliability is unknown. So do we have any other options?? Yes, of course !! Just look in your kitchen and you will get a handful of natural and safe items from which you can make a variety of colours. So let me share you with some DIY ideas on how to make safe, natural and pocket-friendly colours at home for Holi. For this, we need a colouring agent and a base. We will use different vegetables and herbs as a colouring agent while cornflour is used as a base. You can also use rice flour or gram flour (besan) as a base as all the three have dust-like properties but the reason why I prefer cornflour over the other two is due to its anti-sticking properties. Cornflour doesn’t stick on the skin when it gets wet.
Take 2 – 3 beetroots and chop them up into little cubes. Grind them in the mixer to make a fine paste. Sieve the paste and you will get a dark pink juice. Now take corn flour and start adding few spoons of beetroot juice to it until you get a red or dark pink coloured powder. Make sure that you add the juice in small instalments so that you get the desired colour in right consistency.
This is the easiest colour to make. All you need is turmeric in either powder or raw form. Powdered turmeric is mixed with besan or gram flour to get the desired colour. Another way is to grind the raw turmeric and add it to cornflour or gram flour. The idea behind using the raw form is that it is much purer than the powdered form. This yellow colour for Holi will also give your child a much brighter and glowing skin after he removes the colour.
Take a handful of spinach. Blanch it in warm water and make a fine paste of it. Strain the paste and you will get a dark green juice. Now add this juice bit-by-bit to cornflour and you will get a bright green dry colour to play Holi with your family and friends.
Add a few drops of blue food colour that is used to make cakes to cornflour and mix well. You will get a marvellous light blue colour. You can also add indigo powder in place of food colour.
Make red and yellow colour as described above. Now mix the two colours and you will get a beautiful orange colour.
Mix red and blue coloured powder together to get a brown colour. Another way is to add henna powder and amla ( Indian gooseberry) powder in the ratio of 1:3 to get the desired colour.
Mix red, yellow and blue coloured powder together to make black colour.
Likewise, you can do some more experiments with these colours by mixing and matching to get a variety of shades to play this Holi. You can also add a drop of essential oils like lavender, rose or sandalwood (chandan) or even rose water to give a nice smell to these Holi colours. So just don’t keep your child in his room and spoil the festive mood this Holi. Let’s not scare children by using harmful chemicals. Let this Holi be fun-filled and also safe for your family, especially your child with easy-to-make eco-friendly homemade colours.
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