9 Surprising Uses for Molasses You Didn’t Know About

Many know that molasses can be used as a sweet substitute in your favorite sugary treats but did you know it has surprising health benefits too?

Molasses 101

Photo: Alp Aksoy / Shutterstock
Photo: Alp Aksoy / Shutterstock

Maybe you’re mostly familiar with molasses when baking—check out these amazing gingerbread recipes for the holidays, for example. But there’s so much more this syrupy sweet stuff. According to the green-living website Care 2, the thick brown liquid is created as the byproduct of processing sugar cane and sugar beets. Molasses contains trace amounts of minerals and vitamins needed by the body, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are integral to bone health and the possible prevention of heart disease. Molasses is often used as a syrup or a replacement for sugar, but there are also a surprising number of other uses for the syrup. You can find different forms of the syrup for consumption or use at many food stores or specialty organic shops.

Hair conditioning

Photo: Anna Om / Shutterstock
Photo: Anna Om / Shutterstock

There are a number of surprising reasons your hair can turn gray, and some reports suggest molasses could possibly give you a weapon with which you can fight back against color change. According to natural health experts, those who drink one to two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses diluted in water may see an increase in their hair health. Additionally, experts recommend making your own molasses conditioner, mixing water and molasses and leaving it on the hair for 15 minutes. It’s thought that the anti-aging antioxidants found in molasses work as a conditioner, reversing graying of the hair and hair loss.

Energy bars

Photo: Oksana Mizina / Shutterstock
Photo: Oksana Mizina / Shutterstock

In need of a quick boost before you leave the house or an afternoon pick me up when you’re at the office? Molasses can be your pick-me-up. You can roll raw molasses into an energy ball—check out these energy ball recipes—or use it as a replacement for honey or maple syrup. Molasses’ sticky nature makes it perfect for holding all the ingredients together. Molasses can also enhance the flavor of your favorite energy bar ingredients and pairs well with cinnamon, raisins, and almonds.

Menstrual cramp relief

Photo: Andrey Popov / Shutterstock
Photo: Andrey Popov / Shutterstock

You can try special exercises for this monthly pain, or give essential oils for menstrual cramps a shot. But have you tried molasses? It contains iron which can help prevent iron deficiency that can occur during one’s period. When women suffer from low iron during their period, it can lead to an increase in cramps. The minerals found in molasses, including iron, magnesium, and calcium, can help to alleviate these symptoms and reduce one’s cramps, Organic Facts reports.

Sauce and glazes

Photo: Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock
Photo: Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock

If you’re looking to jazz up your dinner routine, molasses can be a great flavor agent. Add a small amount of molasses and butter as a glaze to your favorite vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes for a sweet, delectable dinnertime coating. You can also make a mixture of molasses and barbecue sauce and use it to marinate your favorite meats. If you’re looking for lighter fare, try incorporating the syrup into your favorite salad dressings, like balsamic vinaigrette, as The Alternative Daily suggests.

Face wash

Photo: VGstockstudio / Shutterstock
Photo: VGstockstudio / Shutterstock

If you’re trying to figure out the cause of your acne you’ll want to skip the myths of various remedies and go with a trusted source of relief—and that might be molasses. According to The Alternative Daily and DIY organic beauty bloggers, molasses is revered for its skin cleansing properties. To use blackstrap molasses as a face wash, dilute the syrup with water, apply the mixture to the skin and let it sit for at least five minutes. Then rinse your face with warm water. Molasses is reported to help with acne, eczema, and rosacea, and it’s also a great skin softening agent.

Digestive relief

Photo: pippee / Shutterstock
Photo: pippeecontributor / Shutterstock

If your tummy troubles you, make sure you’re aware of the foods that GI docs would never eat. Molasses may also be able to help: The minerals found in the syrup can help relieve the symptoms of constipation. In order to reap the full benefits, experts at The Alternative Daily suggest mixing one to two tablespoons of molasses in your morning drink. If you’re hesitant to add it to your coffee or tea, slip a few spoonfuls into lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Relieve joint pain

Photo: Martin Novak / Shutterstock
Photo: Martin Novak / Shutterstock

Those with arthritis should watch what they eat—a number of foods can do a lot for their symptoms. And now you can add molasses to the list: Some research suggests it can ease swollen joints. Because it’s rich in calcium and iron, molasses also promotes good bone and tissue health. In order to reap the benefits of molasses for arthritis, one can simply consume the syrup in their food or drink.

Sweetener in drinks

Photo: Michelle Lee / Shutterstock
Photo: Michelle Lee / Shutterstock

You don’t have to turn to sugar or sugar replacements to help sweeten your morning cup of joe—try molasses for a sweet and healthy alternative. There are a number of recipes, including this one, for incorporating the syrup in your drink routine and all will help you reap the health benefits of molasses. The Alternative Daily suggests experimenting with how much you add to your drink in order to find your perfect flavor palette.

Christmas cookies

Photo: Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock
Photo: Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

Surprise Santa this Christmas season by adding molasses to your Christmas cookies. There are a number of cookie recipes that use the syrup in their ingredients, including the much-beloved gingersnaps. Organic Authority advises bakers to add the syrup into additional holiday recipes, including fruitcakes, muffins breads, and more. Not only will molasses alter the color of your cookies, transforming them into rich brown-hues, but they’ll liven up the flavor, too.

Popular Videos

Lauren Rearick
Lauren Rearick is a freelance writer/editor based out Pittsburgh, specalizing in arts, entertainment, music, health and wellness as well as lifestyle writing. Her work has appeared in CNN Opinions, The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, Teen Vogue, Travel + Leisure, the Pittsburgh City Paper, Vinyl Me Please, Hello Giggles and more.

She founded the music blog, The Grey Estates, which was selected as one of the top 100 indie music blogs by Style of Sound. In 2016, she was recognized with a Keystone State Press Award for a personality profile.