The vibrancy of colours is something that brings in a lot of positivity in our lives and Holi is a day worth rejoicing. It is a festival celebrated with utmost joy and enthusiasm. Indoreans play colours on this day with utmost care and they started using herbal and natural colours during festival of colours.
Taking the initiative further, Indoreans are preparing these colours in their own way. Among one of the first such initiatives that will control the use of synthetic colours on a large scale, pharmacy students of Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science are preparing herbal colours in bulk for their entire campus.
Free Press talked to Prof Dr Rakesh Sagar to know about the way to make herbal colour at home and talked to students about their experiences.
How to prepare herbal colours?
One can prepare herbal colours using flowers or fruits. Flowers are generally cheaper and keep the colour feasible. Following are the steps to prepare natural ‘Gulal’ or dry herbal colour. You can also stop at first step and have a simple water-based colour to play holi.
1. Collect mature Butea monosperma, commonly known as palash, tesu or Flame of the Forest. You can also use beetroot for pink colour.
2. Boil the flower or beetroot in water.
3. Mash the ingredients in water using a grinder.
4. Boil again and filter.
5. Make concentrate of the filtered colour till the water is reduced to less than half.
6. Add corn starch or ‘multani mitti’ to make it into thick dough.
7. Dry the dough in sun or oven to make into powder.
Note: The prepared herbal colour will not only make Holi colourful but also work as herbal treatment for skin.
“As pharmacy student, we understand how every chemical affects our skin. It is important that we are able to work with natural components and find alternatives.”
“It was amazing to observe the flower and understand various pigments present in it for colouring. We might be able to come up with more innovative herbal colours on next Holi.”
“We feel great to be leading this change in SGSITS by preparing herbal colours for all the students. It is an educating and interesting process.”
“We understand the process. We can further fine tune it to create variety of herbal colours. In fact, there might be more applications of this herbal mix, which we will try to research further.”