Madonna is known for her age-defying lust for life, and if you’ve been to one of her concerts, you’ll know that she can dance her way through an hour and a half performance with more energy and vigour than a woman half her age. (She can skip with a rope and sing for six minutes straight, plus it’s rumoured that before a tour she works out for four hours a day!). But, as we all know, you can’t keep up that kind of focus and gruelling physical output without some solid rest and at least one relaxing beauty ritual to enjoy at the end of each day.
While most of her colleagues in the industry were at Coachella’s music festival last weekend, the queen of pop was chilling at home in a bath filled with fresh basil leaves. (With a glass of rosé wine in hand, naturally).
Whilst this does look deliciously relaxing, and there’s no doubt that fresh basil smells divine, we wondered if there was a specific beauty or health reason that Mme. Ciccone had sprinkled the herb into her bath. And, of course, Madonna knows best, because it turns out that there’s a number of benefits to incorporating this plant into your daily beauty ritual, as well as putting it on your food.
We have discussed the fact that stress is one of the things that ages you prematurely a number of times: Not only does it give you wrinkles, it’s the culprit behind a number of chronic diseases. Homeopath Alison Gunn explains that basil is a perfect remedy for that because it relaxes and soothes your mind and body, and she adds that the sweet smelling herb is a powerful beauty ally when it comes to having gorgeous skin and hair and for healthy ageing.
“Basil is a wonder plant,” Alison tells Lumity Life. “Using it in your daily, or weekend beauty rituals like Madonna does is a brilliant idea. In India, basil is considered to be a holy plant and is known as ‘the elixir of life’.”
There are several reasons for this humble herb being handed such an accolade, “Basil boosts your immune system and is an antioxidant, plus it has antiseptic properties,” says our expert. “If you sprinkle fresh leaves in your bath it can clear up skin problems – particularly issues like rashes, acne or minor spots and hormonal breakouts, and it will soothe eczema. It also helps cleanse your blood. And it will give you shiny hair if you rinse your hair with water that has been soaked in basil leaves.”
But that’s not all, “It can also help speed up your metabolism and help ease digestive issues, and our bodies find it to be so calming that it eases stress, improves memory and fights off free radicals because of its antioxidant properties.”
If you’re feeling a little jaded and your skin is less than glowing after Easter, or if you are suffering from skin breakouts and a sluggish metabolism after a long weekend packed with a bit too much refined sugar, alcohol and carb laden lunches, then buying a few basil plants and incorporating them into a beauty ritual at home this weekend might just be the tonic your body needs.
If you’re needing some inspiration to start working out again following the Easter holidays, try out these tips from top NYC based fitness instructor Bethany Myers. Or take a look at our expert’s advice for how to master glowing skin. If you’ve spring cleaned your beauty routine, perhaps you’re ready to try out some of Drew Barrymore’s top six beauty buys?