Mango "Yellow"
Mangifera indica
Our handmade watercolours are all available on our Etsy store
How to use: Wet surface of pan. Gently scrub the surface. 
Storage: Store in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. Ensure the pan is dried out before keeping. Even though we boil our inks with natural preservatives, there is still a chance of mold growing. In case that happens, just scrap off the moldy part and you should still be able to continue using the colours.

Made with Mango watercolour and iron modifier. 

The Mango "Yellow" watercolour is released as part of our Tropical Palette!
Before we got so used to buying our colours from art stores, people grew and harvested their colours from all  sorts of natural sources. Some unexpected methods were through fermenting leaves, crushing insects, and even from collecting cow urine. Yes, traditionally, Indian Yellow  pigments are said made from the urine of cows that were only fed water and mango leaves. Farmers then dried the urine into cakes, then grounded them into pigments which the artists mixed with their binders for painting.  
Fortunately, we no longer  have our Indian Yellow pigments sourced from these malnourished cows.

Indian Yellow spices sold at a market.  Picture from Wiki Commons.

Whilst we do not have cows at our space, we do have a baby mango tree which we used to make this batch of mango watercolours! Though as you can tell, she is still pretty young, hence we also used the leaves of  mango trees from other spaces for this batch. 

Our Mango baby! (and the rest of our plants spilling out of our planter bed)

While in Southeast Asia, most of us have tasted the fruits of the Mango tree, we may not know that mango leaves are edible as well! Mango leaf tea is a traditional Chinese remedy for diabetes;  it is not  there is a study that supports that claim.  So if you ever have mango leaves, don't throw them away, you can boil them into a fragrant and healthy tea leaf!

Mango leaves from our garden, alongside cosmos and blue pea flowers we also use for making our watercolours.

To extract the colour pigments, we simmered fresh, mango leaves in the pot for close to 2 hours. From the brownish-yellow dye solution, we then extracted the lake pigments. It was a little tricky to manage the consistency in the vibrancy of the pigments because the dye solution has to be concentrated enough before the precipitation of the pigments. The lake pigments were a gorgeous yellow, similar in hue to the Indian Yellow the cows produced but paler. After drying the pigments, we mulled it with our own handmade watercolour binder. 

Lake pigments from our Mango leaves. 

There has been more attention paid to natural dyeing with mango leaves. The pigment responsible for the yellow colour gifted from mango leaves is mangiferin, another one of the many compounds from Nature's very own pharmacy that scientists are studying for cancer prevention and treatment. If you are interested in how mangiferin works as an antioxidant, you may read one of the articles published by the University of Central Lancashire here

Structure of mangiferin molecule. 

Our Mango watercolours are available for sale at our Etsy shop.
Links to References: 
1. Times of India. (2018, June 20). This mango leaves concoction promises to cure diabetes! - Times of India. The Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/home-remedies/this-mango-leaves-concoction-promises-to-cure-diabetes/articleshow/64661601.cms
2. Khurana, R. K., Kaur, R., Lohan, S., Singh, K. K., & Singh, B. (2016). Mangiferin: a promising anticancer bioactive. Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst, 5(3), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.4155/ppa-2016-0003

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