Molasses is a common ingredient in baking, especially if you want to make perfect gingerbread cookies.
The dark, syrupy liquid is a byproduct of sugar cane. It's what's left behind after all the sugar has been taken out of the sugar cane.
While sugar is often frowned upon, molasses, specifically the blackstrap variety, is actually considered a superfood because it is very rich in nutrients, including vitamin B6, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
For decades, people have used molasses as a solution to a bevy of problems, including digestion issues, anemia, and ulcers.
You too can reap the benefits of molasses by using it as a replacement for sugar, but there are a number of other ways you can incorporate it in your daily life.
1. Digestive relief
Thanks to its high mineral content, molasses can make a world of a difference for your stomach problems.
It's a natural stool softener, so if you're experiencing symptoms of constipation, reach for some molasses. To get the best results, add one to two tablespoons of the syrup into your morning drink.
If you're not a coffee or tea drinker, try mixing it with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
2. Hair conditioner
Stool isn't the only thing molasses can soften. According to The Alternative Daily, applying blackstrap molasses to your hair will not only soften your locks, it will also help reverse premature graying and reduce hair loss.
It's the anti-aging oxidants as well as the selenium, manganese, zinc, and copper found in molasses that help restore your hair's health.
Mix one to two tablespoons of molasses in a cup of water as an internal remedy, or you can apply the mixture to your hair as a conditioning treatment. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
3. Menstrual cramps remedy
There are a few things you can do, including drinking herbal tea or applying heat to your lower torso, to ease the discomfort and pain brought on by menstrual cramps, but chances are you've never tried molasses for relief.
Many women experience severe cramps during their period because their body is low in iron. By consuming molasses, minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium will help alleviate certain painful menstrual symptoms, including cramps.
4. Improve garden soil
Not everyone has a green thumb, but there a few tricks you can use to make your garden flourish.
Use unsulphured blackstrap molasses to improve the soil and help your plants grow. The micro and macro nutrients in the dark syrup boost moisture and provide flowering plants with the potassium they need to grow.
Start by adding small doses when watering the plants. About one tablespoon of molasses per gallon of water will do the trick. You can gradually increase the amount of molasses as the plants start to grow.
5. Joint pain relief
Molasses belongs in the latter category. Research has shown that the sweet syrup can reduce inflammation throughout the body, including joints. Since it's rich in iron and calcium, molasses can also help maintain good bone and tissue health.
For the best results, mix a tablespoon of molasses with a cup of warm water and drink it once a day.
6. Skin cleanser
No two people have the same skin type so what works for one person doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you too. However, there are a couple of natural acne and blemish remedies that have been known to work for most people.
If you're looking for a natural cleanser that will help keep skin problems at bay and soften your complexion, try molasses.
Dilute a couple of tablespoons of the syrup in water and apply the solution to your face and let it sit for at least five minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Over time, you'll start to notice a big difference in the way your skin looks and feels. Apparently, molasses can also help with eczema and rosacea.
7. Anemia solution
Low iron is one of the most common deficiencies in the United States and the main cause of anemia.
Thankfully, changes in your diet and adding supplements can easily solve this problem. One method of elevating your blood iron levels is by consuming blackstrap molasses.
A tablespoon of the syrup contains 3.5 mg of iron which is about 19% of the daily recommended amount for an adult woman, according to Livestrong. So adding a couple of tablespoons to your food or drinks, like tea, coffee, milk or water, will be beneficial.
To help your body absorb iron even faster, try taking the molasses with foods that are high in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli and red peppers are all good choices.
Just remember to see your doctor before you make any additions to your diet.
8. Insect repellent
Molasses is effective in keeping common garden insects, like caterpillars, away from your plants. By encouraging the growth of microbes in the soil, molasses isn't only providing nutrients to the soil, it's also reducing pests.
There are a few different ways to use molasses as an insecticide. The easiest method is by dissolving one tablespoon of the syrup in a gallon of warm water, let it cool then spray it over the plant leaves and into the soil.
A harsher method is to combine one tablespoon of molasses with a teaspoon of dish washing liquid into a quarter gallon of warm water. Once the solution cools, spray it all over the leaves.
What do you use molasses for? Let us know in the comments!