'Use herbal colours for a mishap-free Holi' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Use herbal colours for a mishap-free Holi'

Doctors at various hospitals in the Capital say that eyes are most susceptible to chemical colours and prescribe use of natural colours as an alternative for a mishap-free Holi.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2008 13:10 IST

With Holi round the corner, get ready to drown yourself in the festival of colours but do take care of your eyes so that you do not end queueing up in any hospital on that day.

The suggestion comes from doctors at various hospitals in the Capital, who advise that eyes are most susceptible to chemical colours and prescribe use of natural colours as an alternative for a mishap-free Holi.

"Nearly everyday we get 50 to 60 eye trauma cases in the casualty ward. But during Holi, the number crosses the 100th mark. Some cases just need good washing while some end up with bandages.

"But majority of the cases that come on the day of Holi end up having multiple surgeries the whole year long. Even we have cases where victims become blind," Dr Tushar Agarwal, an Assistant Professor at the opthalmology department in AIIMS, told PTI.

According to him, it is safer to opt for herbal colours during the festival day as "natural colours are made from vegetable matters." Saffron is made from kesar, yellow from turmeric, green from henna, red from beetroot and blue from indigo.

"One should also be careful even while using water balloons. They too add to the blood trauma of the eye and with severe irreparable problems," said Tarun Kapoor, an ophthalmologist with Rockland Hospital.

The best colour for Holi can be obtained from tesu flowers by soaking them in water. "There is no chemical involved in these," suggested Dr Kapoor. "And these colours and can be safely used."

However, if they are not available, synthetic colours can be purchased. "But the branded ones should be preferred. These are little expensive but less toxic," he said.

With cow dung, mud and muddy water used by many on the occasion of Holi, Dr Tushar argued, "They contain germs and can be dangerous."

Regarding all the do's and dont's, during such an occasion, care for the eye appears first in the doctors' list.

"Colours like gulal, blue, yellow, green and purple should be avoided. It is mixed either with sand, mica, glass powder, talc or starch," he said.