Health, Miscellaneous

How to Have an Organic Holi

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“Do me a favor, let’s play Holi.

Rangon mein hai pyar ki boli…”

When Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra grooved on this number, little did we know that the song will have a deeper meaning. With harsh colors dominating the festival, we really need to do a favor to each other while playing Holi. So, here are ideas to have an organic Holi. With these ideas and tips, you will have a safe Holi after which, you won’t have to deal with notorious side-effects of colors. Use organic Holi colors to delight in the festivities as well as for the betterment of your skin. Here are some tips to make various colors at home for an enjoyable and safe Holi. Make sure when you spread colors this Holi, you spread health along with.

Why Do We Need to Have an Organic Holi?

organic holi

Initially, Holi was celebrated with colored powders or gulal those were made of organic/herbal stuff like seasonal flowers, vegetables, herbs, spices, and plant based substances. Playing with them used to nourish the skin and hair, and the only thing to be lost were clothes.

When the festival gains momentum, more and more people joined in. This resulted in the introduction of artificial colors that were chemically processed and even dyes. Their metallic sheen, neon hues, and bright shades; these colors attract eyes. Youngsters are excited to buy these for their long lasting effect but they are oblivious of their disastrous effects that are deeper than the skin.

Cheap Colors, Costly Results: Although such colors are cheaper, we have to pay a heavy price with health problems. Minor allergies, severe rashes, temporary blindness, and even skin cancer are among the health concerns that synthetic colors bring. Do you know, what is Holi color powder made of? Everything harmful, everything toxic as these colors are packed with toxic elements that include alkalis, glass powder, acids, oxidized metals, mica, and engine oil. These elements cause havoc on health with common issues like flaking, rashes, blisters, and itching. Those having sensitive skin or with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea suffer worse.

The Chaos of Colors: Red color is produced from mercury sulphide, which has been linked with mental retardation, paralysis and impaired vision. Black color is made from lead oxide that is loaded with poisonous properties. Its effects start from the brain and pass through the rest of the body. Green color is usually prepared from copper sulphate, which causes eye allergies and even temporary blindness! Purple color is made from chromium iodide that results in bronchial asthma and allergies. Silver color is usually made from aluminium bromide, a known carcinogen.

Environmental Effects: The punitive effects of these colors are not just limited to our skin and health but are also disastrous for the environment. When washed off, these colors become more harmful as these are highly structured polymers that are hard to biologically decompose.

To support the fact, here is a reference from a report by Joy Joseph Gardner (University of Rajasthan) and Deepanjali Lal (Jaipur National University). The report is based on study of effects Holi colors have on soil and water, both. It states –

“Prepared from harmful substances, these colors are not readily degradable under natural conditions and are typically not removed from waste water by conventional waste water treatments. Thus, several bacteria have been found to decolorize, transform and completely mineralize colored soil and water in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.”

No wonder, an organic Holi is much required as it not only saves our skin and health but also the planet. How? Let’s see in the account below.

How to Make Gulal at Home

make natural colors at home

People want to know how to make organic colors at home to be safe than sorry. Preparing colors of your own is the sure way to have a safe Holi. Here are ideas to make some colors at home, play safe, and enjoy the festival to the fullest. You can add rice flour or wheat in equal quantities to increase the volume of the powders. Besan can also be added to a few.

Pink: Use dried rose petals and powder those. Voila! You have eye-catching as well as skin and environment friendly colors. As roses are available in many colors, you can make several floral hues.

Red: For a bright red or magenta pink color, get beetroot peels dried and grind those to a fine powder. You can also use crisp dried red hibiscus flowers or red sandalwood.

Blue: Although blue flowers are rare, you can still use blue hibiscus, aprajita, and jacaranda flowers to prepare the electrifying blue color. Even if you don’t have an idea about how to make Holi colors with flowers, this idea will get you your favorite floral blue.

Grey: Take out seeds of Amla (Indian gooseberry) and grind it. Add its juice to corn flour. Let it dry, sieve, and use it. This is a good idea for those wondering which natural products can be used to play Holi? What’s better than the wonder fruit Amla?

Green: Present vastly, green color dominates the Indian landscape. And thus, resources to prepare this color are readily available. Grab some leaves, wash, dry, and powder them. You can also use coriander, spinach, and of course, henna.

Brown: Mix amla and henna powders with flour and smear the unique brown color on each other. Easy! Isn’t it? This is a quick hack for those who want to know how can I make Holi colors at home without food coloring. Put this idea into practice.

Yellow: Powder the pulses for a good yellow tinge. However, nothing beats turmeric for yellow gulal.  With its unbeatable staining aspect, it is the best choice for yellow color.

Purple: Grind a few black carrots, add some corn flour to those, and mix well. For fragrance, you can also add a little rosewater to it.

How to Make Organic Wet Colors

organic wet colors

Once you have made gulal at home, making wet colors is even easier. You can simply mix these powders to water for wet colors. These wet colors not only make lovely color concoctions but are amazing for your skin health. You can also boil or soak certain plant compounds overnight to make colored water. Still, here are some ideas to create wet colors –

Orange/Saffron: Soak Tesu (Palash/ Flame of the Forest/Dhak) flowers overnight in water or boil them to get a lovely yellow-orange color. You can also dry medicinal flowers in shade and finely grind them before adding to water. You can also mix henna in water for an orange hue. Soaking kesar (saffron) overnight in water also gives a lovely wet orange color. Another idea is to boil marigold flowers in water and leave overnight.

Yellow: Mix turmeric powder with gram flour and add to water. Alternatively, any yellow colored flowers, such as marigold or yellow chrysanthemums can be crushed and added to water for wet yellow color. If you were wondering, how to make natural colors with flowers, try this idea and you would love it.

Pink: Apart from roses, you can also use pink hibiscus flowers and beetroot for those organic pink or magenta shades. Alternatively, beetroot slices/pieces in water and use the mixture to play.

Brown: Boil henna and amla powders in one and four parts, respectively in water. A crazy brown color is at your disposal!

Green: Mix henna powder to water or any leafy veggie like spinach. Splash the lovely green color on each other!

Magenta: Boil beetroots in water and leave overnight. For a deeper shade, dilute the concoction a little more.

Blue: Crush and dry jacaranda or aparajita flowers, and mix with water. Blue hibiscus flowers are also great picks. You can also crush the indigo plant berries and dilute them in water. Mix till the solution is even.

Red: Hibiscus flower tea and boiled pomegranate peels left overnight make amazing red wet color. Add some red sandalwood paste to water and boil. Cool down and use it as a healthy red Holi color.

Being natural is the way of life. With these tips on how to make natural, homemade colors for Holi; you will be enjoying a healthy Holi. As these are organic colors for a skin-friendly Holi, you are in for a fragrant and flamboyant festival, free from any troublesome aftermath.

Tips to Buy Natural Colors

tips to buy natural colors

As people have realized the importance of serious side-effects of synthetic colors; they are switching to organic and natural colors to play a safe Holi. Several companies have thus resorted to produce environment and skin-friendly Holi colors. However, you have to keep the following pointers in mind while buying any color on the shelf that states “herbal”, “natural”, or “organic”.

  • If the label says that the color is natural, check the ingredients to find if they have snuck in some chemicals.
  • Several Ayurvedic brands produce colors during this time of the year. You can trust those as they usually have good quality ingredients.
  • Some natural cosmetic companies also make skin-friendly colors. If you have a trusted brand, buy from there.
  • Check for certification claiming that ingredients of the colors are organic and safe.

Thus, make safe Holi colors with ingredients available in your kitchen and garden. These are not only skin safe but also great on hair and biodegradable. So, by making organic Holi colors at home, you are taking good care of your skin and health as well as contributing goodness to the planet. Once you know, how to make organic colors for Holi, you are in for a joyous and safe celebration. Some color making ideas are so simple that even kids can make these natural colors.

So, let’s do a favor to each other while playing Holi from now. With such safe organic colors, we can truly say that “rangon mein hai pyar ki boli”(colors have a language of love).


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