Use of natural colour during festive occasions had been in practice since ancient times in our Indian cultural heritage and traditions. With speedy development in science and technology and their applications; there has been tremendous growth in colours and dyes manufacturing industry as well.
Basically colours and colouring agents are obtained from two sources i.e… Natural colours ( bio – colours) or natural organic colours and artificial or synthetic organic colours. Natural organic dyes are derived from plants and their parts that possess colouring pigments like cyanins and anthocyanins; xathins and anthoxathins etc….Of late the modern life styles of man is very much inclined to use synthetic colours. Synthetic organic colours, though gives deep and bright that look attractive; they are very harmful to the health of man and animal. They contain toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, mercury etc… that lead to several disorders of the body system – skin, eyes, nose, heart, nerves, blood etc..They also pollute water and soil. On the other hand, the choice of natural organic colours extracted from plant parts i.e.. leaves, flowers, fruits, seed, bark, wood, and root are simple natural products that are safe to use.
During celebrations like the present holy festival, people tend to use fast colour products available in free market. By doing so, they may enjoy temporarily due to the attractiveness of the synthetic colours. But they may be also silently inviting the wrath of ill-effects of these toxic chemicals. Instead, it is better and safe to go for natural colours and dyes which are slowly arriving in to the market. Though these products are little bit expensive it is real worth in using such eco – friendly natural organic colours. Not only this, some of the natural dyes have got medicinal values as well. However, some cautious utilization of these colours is advisable because of inherent and rare cases of allergy.
Some of the plants and/or plant products that we can use in attractive colour combinations are…
Moduga flowers : orange – red
Sindhur seed pulp and powder : Saffron – scarlet
Marigold flowers : yellow – orange
Hibiscus : black- red
Kumkum fruit bristles : scarlet red
Bandigurivinja seed : scarlet red
Henna leaves : orange
Red sandal wood : reddish brown
Turmeric rhizome : yellow orange
Parijatha flower stems : saffron
Pala indigo : indigo(blue)
Seeta ashoka flowers : yellow –orange –scarlet
Bilva/maredu fruit rind and pulp : golden yellow
Panasa wood : light yellow
Sappan wood/patanga : reddish yellow
Pogada wood : brown
Other products like tomato fruits, carrot and beetroot, rose petals, jamun and grape fruits, compeachy wood, lagerstroemia, rambutan, morinda fruit, pomegranate fruit etc… also give a variety of colours for safe use.