Natural homemade colors for Holi

Its a well known fact that these days the markets are flooded with chemical colors which kill the true essence of the festival. So here in this article we would be exploring the various methods using which we can make colors at home using natural substances and thus maintain the spirit of the festival.

Holi can said to be one of the most awaited and cherished festival for people of all age groups. Though being an Hindu festival it witnesses the presence of all other religious communities which establishes the true meaning of secularism. Apart from all other rituals related with the 'Spring Festival' the primary attraction of this festival is the once in an year opportunity to indulge in playing with colors. This is the main reason the most commonly used term for Holi i.e. 'Festival of Colors'. Unfortunately in recent times its a well known fact that natural colors are far from availability and the scented chemical colors have taken over the market. The reason behind this being that these are cheaper, don't need the time needed to make natural colors and lastly take longer time for removal which is the prime goal of many individuals just in order to harass others.

Negative Impacts of Chemical Colors

The chemical colors usually comprise of alkali, acids, mica and even pieces of glass which can have adverse effects on the person these are applied on. It is a widely known fact that these colors take a lot of time even up to weeks in order to be completely removed from the skin. From this one can make out that these colors go so deep inside and hence can cause some serious health hazards.
  • First and foremost as one would have realized these greatly increase the chances of skin cancer due to the chemicals involved in its making.

  • If such colors accidentally go into someone's eyes one needs to immediately wash their eyes because the colors are so dangerous that they can even lead to partial or complete visual impairment.

  • The colors have the ability to attack the nervous system ad sadly enough become the cause for mental retardation.

  • Black color which is greatly in use is equally dangerous as it penetrates deep enough for the lead oxide to damage one's kidney.

  • The powder color can cause asthma in children as well as in the elderly community.

  • Common effects that can be noted are itching, rashes and brittle hair.

  • These can even lead to fragile bones.

Lastly it should be noted that these colors must always be kept at great distance from infants because in case they come in contact with these colors, their entire life stands a chance of being ruined.


This is often treated as the holy color as many offer it to Almighty due to the purity reflected by this color. During worship often a red tilak is done on the forehead and even married women always put such a tilak.

Dry Color

  • One could dry red rose in the sun and then blend it to get the rich red color. Following this flour can be added to it so that some volume is added to the same.

  • Hibiscus flower petals can also be dried in the same manner and then blended till a fine consistency is reached.

  • Though a costlier process, this would eventually result in a color having a lovely scent attached to it. Here one is supposed to use red sandalwood powder as red color. It may not be used for playing but would be a perfect choice for offering to God.

  • Sinduria, also called annota in English is a water chestnut shaped fruit having red colored seeds. The color is similar to that of brick and can be powdered in a similar manner after drying to get the desired color.

  • Red color can also be obtained by adding sindur to flour in order to increase its quantity. Though not suggested for kids since the sindur might not of the desired quality.

Wet Color

  • Adding two teaspoons of red sandal wood powder in one liter of water and then boiling it could result in the much desired red color. This could be further diluted for use.

  • Boiling red pomegranate peels would also result in a similar manner.

  • A bright reddish-orange color can be obtained by adding a pinch of lime powder with two spoons of turmeric powder and then mixing it with few drops of water. Once done, this is to be diluted with 10 liters of water.

  • The bright red flowers of Indian Coral Tree if soaked in water overnight releases a rich red color.

  • Madder Tree wood if boiled would produce similar effects.

  • Carrot, tomato or beetroot juices can be diluted with water to remove the stickiness in order to get the appropriate concentration.

  • Powdered rose or hibiscus petals can also be soaked in water overnight for the desired result.


This is the color that signifies festivities and greatly known for fact that it signifies life and happiness. Holi can be said to be incomplete without this color.

Dry Color

  • Henna powder can be mixed with flour to get the desired quality and quantity. It would produce a fine texture of green. As a note of caution I would add in that it must be pure henna and not a mixture of Indian gooseberry and henna.

  • The powder obtained by crushing fenugreek, mint or gulmohar leaves can also be used.

Wet Color

  • Crushing the tender leaves of wheat produces a beautiful green color, which if added to adequate amount of water can be the perfect alternative of the chemical colors.

  • Fresh leaves of radish, spinach or any other leafy vegetable would produce the same result.

  • Green color can also be obtained by adding two teaspoons of henna powder in 1 liter of water, followed by stirring till the perfect mixture is achieved.

  • Boiling fresh neem or spinach or coriander leaves in water would serve the desired purpose.


Saffron is the color of purity and represents the fire within each individual. It is also considered the most sacred color for Hindus thus worn by the the religious people like brahmins and sanyasis.

Dry Color

  • The flower of Flame of Forest if dried and then powdered can be used as the desired alternative. In order to increase the volume one can add flour to it.

Wet Color

  • The mixture of henna powder with water produces the perfect color.

  • Boiling the flowers of Flame of Forest or soaking it overnight would produce a vibrant orange color.

  • Few strands of saffron if added to 2 tablespoons of water and ground to a thick paste after few hours would be an efficient solution. The paste can then be added to water in order to dilute it.


One of the prime colors of Holi, often termed as royal certainly isn't the color to be missed out. It symbolizes bravery and determination.

Powder Color

  • Jacaranda flower if dried in sun and then crushed would produce blue colored powder which can be further mixed with flour to increase its volume.

  • Blue hibiscus can also be used in a similar manner as above.

Wet Color

  • The fruits of indigo plant can crushed and mixed with water to generate the royal blue color

  • Leaves of indigo plant can be boiled in water to get similar results.


The color of knowledge, learning, peace and happiness. It completes Holi with its brightness.

Dry Color

  • Can be easily achieved by adding turmeric powder with flour in 1:2 ratio.

  • One can choose yellow flowers like Marigold, Yellow Chrysanthemums and Black Babul which yields different shades of yellow. These can be dried in the sun and then crushed to get yellow colored powder.

  • The dried rind of Bel fruit can be ground to achieve the same.

Wet Color

  • As easy as a pie, one just needs to add turmeric to water till the desired consistency is reached.

  • The above mentioned flowers if boiled in water or soaked in it overnight can also produce similar results.


Wet Color

  • Coffee or tea leaves when boiled generate a fine texture of brown.

  • Katha if mixed with water is an efficient solution.

  • Henna and Indian Gooseberry mixed in 1:4 ration and then dissolved in water would give a vibrant brown color.


Wet color

  • The juice of purple grapes or jamun if extracted and added to water to remove the stickiness can be used as a suitable substitute.

  • Beetroot if boiled for long and then diluted one would reach a point when a fine texture of purple is produced.


The most awaited color so far. Often referred as the girly color, it truly is a much preferred one.

Wet Color

  • Beetroot or pomegranate seeds are soaked in water to get pink color.

  • Boiling the onion peels of 10 to 15 pink onions in 1 liter water would fetch similar results. One needs to remove the peels before usage to remove the smell.

  • Pink Kachnar flower can be soaked overnight or boiled to get rich pink color.

Lets have a chemical free Holi and paint our lives with these easy to make organic colors. The best part is that these colors are absolutely safe especially for children.


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