Play Safe, Herbal Holi    

By Shahnaz Husain

Holi colors may contain dyes, chemicals, shiny particles of mica and even lead, as well as powdered glass, acids and alkalis. Apart from being a hazard to the environment, they affect the skin and hair adversely. They irritate the skin and scalp, causing allergies and dermatitis. They can lead to allergic rashes, or pimples and acne. The skin can also suffer from dryness, flaking and rough reddish patches. These substances also collect on the scalp, causing dryness and itching. The hair texture suffers, becoming dry, rough and unmanageable.

Make your own natural colors:

Simmer Tesu flowers in water. Leave overnight. Strain and use the water to play Holi. Tesu flowers leave a yellow color.

Henna powder can be mixed with gram flour (besan) or maize flour (makki) and used as dry green color.

Turmeric (haldi) can be used both as dry and wet color. Turmeric can be mixed with gram flour for dry color. Or, it can be added to water and boiled. Leave overnight and then use.

Boil beetroot in water. This leaves a bright magenta color. Cool and use the water. Or extract beetroot juice, add a little water and then use it.

Peels of red pomegranate (anaar) when boiled in water gives a red color.

Red sandalwood powder can be used both dry and wet color.

Natural Remedies for Skin and Hair:

Mix together 4 parts of curd, add one part honey and a little turmeric. Apply on the face, neck and arms daily, for a few days after Holi. Wash off after 20 minutes. It brightens the skin and makes it soft and smooth.

Crush sesame seeds (til) coarsely and soak in water overnight. The next day, strain it and use the milky liquid to wash the face, neck and arms. This helps to soothe sunburn. Sesame seeds have sun-protective properties.

Apply Aloe Vera gel or juice on skin. It moisturizes the skin, relieving dryness. It also soothes sun burn. It contains zinc, which is anti-inflammatory. Take one tablespoon gram flour (besan), one teaspoon curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the face, washing it off after 20 minutes.

Marigold (gainda) flowers help to soothe skin and scalp irritation. Add a handful of fresh or dried marigold flowers to three cups of hot water. Let it stand for an hour. Strain and cool the water and rinse face and hair.

About Shahnaz Husain

 Shahnaz Husain, pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement, heads the Shahnaz Husain Group, with a global network of franchise ventures and 375 Ayurvedic formulations. A Case Study at Harvard for Brand Creation, she is now a Harvard Subject for “Emerging Markets” She was honored with the Padma Shri Award and is the first woman in 105 years to receive the World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Award from Success, the U.S. business magazine. Indeed, Shahnaz Husain is a leading international beauty icon.’

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