Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Play Safe, Natural and Organic Holi

By Arti Gaur, Ayurveda Expert, Dhyan Foundation

The day after holi: pink, green and blue faces, rashes everywhere, body aches, cold, cough and pains occurs – thanks to catching a chill in the wet clothes or an allergic reaction to the using chemical laced colours and other number of particulates that float in during holi air.

To keep away harsh chemicals dampening your spirits, all you have to do is to perform simple yogic techniques and raid your kitchen, kitchen garden or your granny’s spice rack to celebrate Holi naturally & organically. The best part, at the end of all the merriment your skin will glow.

Image for representation purpose only. Image Credit: Worldhab

Yogic Techniques 

1. JAL NETI:  (Nasal cleansing) Take 500ml bearably warm water in a neti pot, add ½ tsp black/rock salt and a pinch of turmeric. Stand evenly and bending slightly forward tilt the head at 45degrees angle towards left. Insert the nozzle of the pot into the right nostril. While breathing normally from the mouth, tilt the pot so that the water runs into the right nostril and flows out from the left. Repeat on the other side. Breathe normally afterwards. Saline water is the best cleansing medium, which absorbs and scrapes away infectious pathogens accumulated in the nasal passage. Turmeric is disinfectant, antiseptic and scouring agent. Jal Neti kits are available on Dhyan Foundation website.

2. COW’S GHEE: Warm pure cow’s ghee to a bearable temperature. Lie down flat on your back and let the head hang down, bending the neck backwards. Using a dropper or a spoon pour about 5 drops of ghee in each nostril turn by turn, in such a way so as it does not flow down towards the throat but flows backwards, towards the head. Keep lying in the same position for 5 minutes afterwards. Cow’s ghee lubricates the nasal passage and strengthens the mucous membranes to fight against infections.

3. FOOT MASSAGE: Heat mildly some mustard oil and massage the soles of the feet before retiring. Loose cotton socks can be worn later. Mustard oil is hot and massaging generates heat in the body to fight any symptoms of cold and infection.

To make your Holi natural and Organic you can use the following tips:

  • Before you leave your home make sure you massage oil (mustard/olive) into your scalp, hair and whole body. Also paint your nails to avoid colour getting into them.
  • To wash off colour use a paste of gram flour (besan), wheat bran and milk and scrub yourself and then take a shower. You can also add turmeric, which is an antiseptic, to this mixture. After you take a shower remember to moisturerise.
  • To prevent skin infections you can add neem. First dry the leaves, boil it and add this to any colour.
  • Mix sandalwood powder in any dry colour for that sweet fragrance. You can use rose water for wet colours.

Mellow Yellow:

  • Soak dry tesu flowers overnight in hot water. You will get a bright yellow wet colour to put in pichkaris.
  • Sandalwood powder and haldi will give you a brilliant yellow dry colour.
  • Take two teaspoons of turmeric powder mix this with besan (double the amount of turmeric taken) for a lovely dry colour. Instead of besan you can also use flour or arrow root. Of course this will dilute the intensity.
  • Dried powder of flowers like marigold and yellow chrysanthemums also work.

Give me Red:

  • Boil and crush beetroot in water to make a great red wet colour.
  • For a brilliant crimson-red hue, powder roots of manjishtha (an herb) add alum and haldi. Incidentally, manjishtha is very good for the skin and used in many herbal cosmetics.
  • Another great way to get a deep red dry colour is to dry red hibiscus flowers and then powder it till it turns red in color. To increase the quantity add any flour to it, however this will dilute the intensity of the colour.

Green Piece:

  • Simply take dry henna powder for green, dry colours. This will not leave any mark on your face as chemical colour or henna paste does.
  • Celery powder is another great option for green, dry colour.
  • For wet colour, mix two teaspoons of heena in one litre of water. Stir the mixture well and ensure that it is diluted.
  • A fine paste of leaves like coriander, mint and spinach will also give you the desired result.

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