The many faces of yellow

Yellow pigment in the past was tough to obtain

Cristiana Ammendola with yellow shirt

Not an easy color

Artists in the past had many difficulties with this color, the two main pigments used , orpiment and Gamboge where highly poisonous , Naples Yellow came from the orifice of sulfurous Mount Vesuvius and often turned black when dried.Gallstone yellow was made from crushed ox gallstones and Indian yellow was probably made from urine!

Together with red , blue , green and white , yellow is one of the five colors of the Chinese Five Element theory.
Each color corresponds with a season, direction, element, planets and animals.

yellow clay

Yellow was paired with the element Earth and the color of the “Rulers”

For the Chinese already in 618 AD, at the very beginning of the Tang dynasty , common people and officials were forbidden to wear clothes and accessories in yellow, reserved only for the Emperor and his family .

Babar the elephant book cover
yellow and blue artistic painting

So many yellows in the palette

There are many hues of yellow to talk about and stories related to each one!

water color shades of yellow brushes
yellow tint on fabric


Thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks already used saffron to dye their clothes, we know that it was traded across the Red Sea from Egypt to Southern Arabia , to Spain and was also grown in England for centuries.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, ranging between 1000/1200 US$ per kilo, more than double the price for vanilla beans.

It takes between 70,000 and 100,000 flowers to make one kilo of the saffron!

As a color yellow saffron was used for the Buddhist robes, Buddha himself stipulated that the robes could only be dyed using vegetable dye, but of course saffron was too expensive so they used turmeric as a substitute.

shades of yellow


In different countries it has different meanings, in Egypt it is associated with death, in Japan for courage, in China adult movies are referred to as yellow movies.
In journalism it indicates rash sensationalism.
In India it is associated with spiritual power, it is symbolic of peace and knowledge and the color of Krishna yellow robe.
Those condemned to die during the Inquisition wore yellow as a sign of treason and European jews were forced to wear yellow as a stigma, the yellow Star of David during the Nazi era.
In the early twentieth century the flow of immigrants coming into Europe from the east and especially Chinese was named “ the yellow peril”
Yellow is the color of caution and physical illness , like jaundice and malaria.
On the bright side , yellow is the color of sunshine , happiness, sunflower, hope, clarity, enlightenment, honor and joy!

Cristiana Ammendola hiding in yellow bushes

Chakra yellow

According to the Chakra system , yellow is the color of Manipura, the solar plexus , it is the color of sunshine and the core of your being, where you shine from, where you feel strength , will and personal power. It is the color of youth, joy and new beginning.

People who are drawn to yellow are drawn to intellectual pursuit.

Cristiana Ammendola yoga pose with yellow background
Yellow cucurbitaceae

Yellow and orange in your food

Yellow and orange foods contain carotenoids, vitamine C, potassium,flavonoid, lutein and zeaxanthin which support inter cellular communication, prevent heart disease,reduce the risk of cataract and age related macular degeneration.

These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, encourage alkaline balance and work with absorption of iron, magnesium and calcium.

So many yellow colored edible plants we have!

  • Lemons with the delicious juice and edible peels.
  • Corn and corn flour, golden polenta.
  • Marigold Dandelions and Nasturtium are all edible flowers that you can add to salads.
  • Olive oil provides a golden flavor to the most humble of dishes.
  • Yellow peppers to color your salads.
  • And the king of yellow plant food: Turmeric the Indian gold!
Yellow turmeric shot
Yellow pine tree

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Notes from our Author

My intention with this blog is to create a platform to share my knowledge about healthy nutrition habits, my love for yoga, breathwork, movement of any kind, creative practices, painting, dancing and playing, expressing yourself with the aim of maintaining your body functional and your mind sharp to be able to live longer with good health to enjoy it.

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