Colours play vital role in fitness of human body. Deficiency of a particular colour could cause an ailment and can be cured when that colour element is supplemented either through diet or medicine. In ancient times, when people started playing Holi, the colours used by them were made from natural sources like turmeric, Neem, Palash (Tesu) etc. The playful pouring and throwing of colour powders made from these natural sources has a healing effect on the human body. It has the effect of strengthening the ions in the body and adds health and beauty to it.
Plant based sources of colours:
Green: Mehendi and dried leaves of Gulmohur tree, leaves of spring crops and herbs, Spinach leaves, rhododendron leaves and pine needles
Yellow: Turmeric (Haldi) powder, Bael fruit, amaltas, species of chrysanthemums, and species of marigold, dandelions, sunflowers, marigolds, daffodils and dahlias, gram flour
Red: Rose or the bark of crab apple trees, Red Sandal wood Powder, feels of Red Pomegranate, flowers of Tesu tree (Palash), fragrant red sandal wood, dried hibiscus flowers, madder tree, radish and pomegranate
Saffron flowers of Tesu tree (Palash), Mixing lime with turmeric powder creates an alternate source of orange powder, barberry
Blue: Indigo, Indian berries, species of grapes, blue hibiscus and jacaranda flowers
Brown: Dried Tea leaves, red maple trees, Katha
Black: Some species of grapes, fruit of Gooseberry (Amla)
Problems caused by some common Synthetic colours:
Green – It might contain copper sulphate and can cause problems like eye allergy and temporary blindness.
Red – It might contain mercury sulphide, which can lead to skin cancer, mental retardation, paralysis and impaired vision.
Purple – It might contain chromium iodide leading to health problems like bronchial asthma and allergies.
Silver – It might contain aluminum bromide, which is carcinogenic.
Blue – It might contain Prussian blue, which can cause contract dermatitis.
Black – It might contain lead oxide leading to health problems like renal failure and learning disability.
So try to play holi with natural colours. I know it is practically not possible all of a sudden. In the meantime, you can minimize the side effects of synthetic colours by following some simple steps. Here are they-
Before playing Holi
Body: It’s also a good idea to apply a thick layer of moisturizer, petroleum jelly or coconut oil on your face and other exposed parts of the body to prevent colours from coming into direct contact with your skin.
Hair: Oil your hair and scalp with olive, coconut or castor oil. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent dandruff and infection triggered by the chemical colours.
Clothing: What you choose to wear should cover maximum parts of your body. Wear dark colour-full sleeves cotton clothes. Synthetic cloth would be sticky and denims would be heavy once you have a bucket full of colours/water splashed on you.
Lips and Eyes: Don’t wear lenses. Mostly people are interested in applying surprise colours on your face and you may get your eyes hurt by the lenses. Use a sun glass to protect your eyes from a misfire of colour filled darts or water jets. Apply a lip balm for your lips.
Water: Drink plenty of water before you start playing Holi. This will keep your skin hydrated. Also keep sipping water carefully while playing Holi.
Bhang/Alcohol: Don’t consume bhang if you are a heart patient, excessive intake may lead to heart attack/failure.
After playing Holi
- Do not scrub the colour off with soap. Soaps contain esters that erode the skin layers and often cause rashes. Use a cream-based cleanser or you can even use oil for removing the colours, and then go for a bath. Apply a lot of moisturising cream to keep the skin hydrated.
- If the colours are still left on your skin you can apply besan with milk/milk cream on your body for removing colours.
- Don’t use kerosene, spirit or petrol to clean your face. Try a cream-based cleanser or baby oil.
- Don’t use hot water, it will stick the colour on your body. Use normal water.
- Stay away from sunlight till colour is removed.
- Itching in eye or redness may be normal but if it continues for more than few hours immediately contact with a doctor.
Very first thing to do while playing holi is to protect your eyes and skin. Avoid wearing any type of contact lenses and for skin better come out of home by applying good amount of Lotions, Sun Screen, Coconut Oil on your skin areas like Face, Hand and Neck which are targeted by synthetic colors during play. It is also highly recommended to wear full sleeved cotton clothes in white.
Avoid Playing Balloon, As on holi day and next major eye injuries are due to same, it can cause blunt injuries and also perforations of eyeball which can lead to infections and in some case loss of vision too. Ophthalmologists of city even reports eye surgeries after this festive day celebration.
Use Sunglasses to protect your eyes from balloons, water jets, dye and those dangerous colors.
Save your face, If Color Enters your eyes, use lot of clean water to wash it with clean hands without using handkerchief and without rubbing it.
Keep away from danger playing, drunk groups and mobs. Typically people target making other wet in area, society and lanes before one day of Rang Panchmi, i.e the previous day when Holi tree ‘Holika’ is burned.
Use and Promote use of Safe Organic and Herbal colors as detailed above and use home made colors too.