Blackstrap molasses, or dark treacle, is the viscous by-product that remains after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has the consistency of thick syrup. This concentrated byproduct is left over after the sugar’s sucrose has been crystallized. It has a robust flavor described as bittersweet. Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses contains essential vitamins and minerals — boasting a number of powerful health benefits. 1,2
Blackstrap Molasses Uses and Health Benefits
Essential ingredients in blackstrap molasses are calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, vitamin B6, selenium and antioxidants.1
As the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses become better known, more and more molasses products are being sold in the supermarket. As opposed to refined sugar, molasses has the power to naturally relieve PMS symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health, treat symptoms of ADHD and boost hair and skin health.2
Look for blackstrap molasses that’s unsulphured. It doesn’t contain this processing chemical that some people are sensitive to and has a cleaner, more clarified taste. Blackstrap molasses made from organic sugar cane is also available in some markets.2
Blackstrap molasses has several other health benefits including:1,3
- Combating stress with minerals and vitamins that increase serotonin levels
- Stabilizing blood sugar levels and improves glucose tolerance for diabetic patients
- Promoting healthy skin and hair growth with a high lactic acid content
- High antioxidant levels which helps combat disease including blackstrap molasses cancer treatment
- High iron content for anemia and limiting blood flow
Because of these health benefits there are a number of blackstrap molasses uses, including helping to treat the following conditions:
- Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) - Menorrhagia, or hematomunia, is an abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period at irregular intervals. Menorrhagia can be caused by abnormal blood clotting, disruption of normal hormonal regulation of periods, or disorders of the endometrial lining of the uterus. Blackstrap molasses can help with this because of its high nutrient content that regulates blood flow.
- Restless Leg Syndrome - RLS causes a powerful urge to move your legs when you’re lying down or sitting. Some people describe it as a creeping, crawling, tingling, or burning sensation. Moving makes your legs feel better, but not for long. RLS can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. The iron in blackstrap molasses can help calm and relax leg muscles.
- Muscle Cramps - Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions or spasms in one or more of your muscles. They often occur after exercise or at night, lasting a few seconds to several minutes. Blackstrap molasses can help to relieve and relax muscle cramping.
- Neck Pain - Neck pain is very common and many parts of your body — muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, or nerves – can cause neck problems. Pain may also come from your shoulder, jaw, head, or upper arms. This can be treated by using blackstrap molasses as a natural muscle relaxant.
- Prostate Cancer - A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association suggests antioxidants in blackstrap molasses help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions including prostate cancer.
- Anemia - Anemia is a condition of the blood that affects a wide number of people. It’s sometimes referred to as an iron deficiency. Blackstrap molasses can help to supplement iron levels in people with anemia.
Blackstrap Molasses Side Effects and Precautions
Blackstrap Molasses is an inexpensive and popular home remedy, yet not without side effects for some. A variety of side effects from using blackstrap molasses have been reported including: 4
- Cramping and diarrhea
- Increase in mucous
- Sugar cravings
- Increase in blood sugar
Sometimes taken to promote weight loss, some have found blackstrap molasses caused weight gain instead. Some women find it helps to regulate menstrual bleeding, yet some report blackstrap molasses side effects increased menstrual bleeding.