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Molasses - A Super Food That is Also a Great Hair Product!

Updated on June 19, 2013
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The Many Benefits of Molasses

Molasses is often thought of as little more than a necessary ingredient and flavoring for baked beans. My memories of molasses are from visiting my grandmother's NC farm back in the 50's: Biscuits were always on the stove top and then you'd happily go and get the molasses and dip the perfect fluffy biscuit in it. Delightful!

Recently, I decided to relive the 50's by buying biscuits and organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses. But what to do when the two biscuits were quickly gone and almost a full bottle of molasses was left over? Time to get on the internet and research what our elders already knew back then; molasses is chock full of nutritional benefits and is also excellent for hair care.

What are the Nutritional Benefits of Molasses?

Choose an organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses for the healthiest benefits. This product is less processed and retains more of the natural minerals and nutrients. Recently, I had to increase iron in my diet and by purchasing the organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses I found it had far more iron than plain molasses.

Iron - Including just 2 teaspoons of molasses in the daily diet will provide a little over 13 percent of the daily recommended value. Molasses provides more iron for less calories than red meat - with the added bonus of being fat-free. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, which in turn, delivers oxygen from the lungs to all our body cells.

Calcium - Two teaspoons added daily to the diet will deliver almost 12 percent of our daily needs. Calcium helps remove toxins from the colon, thereby reducing our risk of colon cancer. Calcium is also important to prevent bone loss.

Note: Molasses can be added to the diet not just in baked beans or having fun with biscuits but also as a sweetener. Sweeten oatmeal by drizzling it with a teaspoon of molasses or add it to a smoothie. A little goes a long way.

Additional Health Benefits - Molasses is rich in magnesium, copper, manganese and potassium. It is also rich in selenium and vitamin B6.

How is it Made?

Blackstrap molasses is the residual liquid formed during the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Because it is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup there is a more concentrated by-product remaining once the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized. Blackstrap molasses is denser and sweeter than what is known as plain molasses - also known as second molasses.

While the second boiling has the same minerals and vitamins as molasses made during the third boiling - molasses made during the third boiling has all the vitamins and minerals in a more concentrated form.

What are the Different Types of Molasses?

Sulphured molasses is made from the young sugar cane. Because sulphur dioxide is added it helps keep the raw sugar cane fresh until processing and helps to preserve the byproducts produced.

Unsulphured molasses is produced by using mature sugar cane plants that naturally ripen.

Blackstrap molasses can be sulphured or unsulphured but unsulphured is more beneficial.

Benefits of Unsulphured Molasses

By processing sugar out of the cane the empty calories are removed leaving behind the most nutritional benefits. This also leaves it with that distinctive rich, robust flavor.

For Hair Care There are Several Beneficial Uses -

Now that manufacturers are finding out the many amazing benefits of molasses for hair care, you will find many commercial products on the market. I've never tried these but I have used molasses on my hair and got amazing hydrating results. My hair was luxuriously soft, shiny - and in other words, I didn't know it could look and feel this great.

How I used molasses to condition and hydrate

1 - Wash with a gentle shampoo and towel dry hair

2 - Generously apply molasses and massage into damp hair

3 - Cover with a shower cap. (I used a leftover plastic supermarket bag) Leave on for about 20

to 30 minutes

4 - Rinse well with warm water

5 - Shampoo again to remove all molasses

An alternative way a friend does it is:

1 - Warm molasses in microwave

2 - Dampen hair with warm water

3 - Apply molasses and leave on for 20 minutes

4 - Shampoo as usual

What are the Other Hair Care Benefits?

Many have claimed that using molasses also has other hair care benefits. This includes darkening the hair and defining its natural color. It is also said to be beneficial in strengthening weak and thin hair.

Note: For hair care benefits, molasses works whether applied topically or included in the diet.

For a few more healthy living ideas see the links below:

Do you use molasses?

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    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 20 months ago from India

      wow, I didn't know about this. I'm going to give it a try!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 20 months ago from the short journey

      I did not know about using molasses topically and am going to try it. Thanks much!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

      Wow, I am going to have sticky hair! (For about 20-30 minutes, as you said.) I use blackstrap molasses for its mineral content, but now I will have to condition my hair too. My favorite treat is a combo of blackstrap and peanut butter - with a slice of bread or apple or just stirred in a small dish. Think I will go get some now; your hub made me crave...

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 3 years ago

      That was very interesting- I might use molasses when I don't have any nettles around to use. Thank you very much!

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 3 years ago

      I enjoy sweets made with molasses. Never thought of using it for hair. Thanks for sharing how to do this.

      Voted up and useful!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome DeBorrah K. Organs! So glad you liked the hub!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 4 years ago

      BkCreative, Very interesting and educational hub on the benefits of molasses! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      vandynegl - isn't it great that what is old is new again and it works!

      drbj - you are very welcome! Hope you try to like the sweet stuff!

      d.williams - what I like now is for everything to have a multipurpose. No waste. I throw out way too much. But no longer molasses!

      tillsontitan - glad you found the hub informative. And thanks for the votes! Yay!

      ladydeonne - hahaha - great we now have the answer to that tricky million dollar question!

      pstraubie48 - thank you so much for sharing that lovely memory! My grandmother had a wood stove too. But I could never make biscuits like my grand or my mother. I try though. And molasses was a must.

      By the way - I just did my hair again with molasses. This time I did it the second way on the list above. I do prefer the first way for best results but my hair does feel thicker and much less dry.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      When I was a little girl my Daddy often made fresh biscuits in our wood stove in our kitchen. Yum and yum. and of course the molasses was always on the table. Never have I used it on my hair...this does make me curious for sure.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Molasses is the last thing I would imagine using to shampoo hair. If asked to choose the correct answer on a multiple choice test or to win a million dollars on a game show, I would lose the million dollars. This information was truly educational and useful.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I never knew how molasses was made, nor how the different types of molasses came to be. This was very educational. Imagine molasses in your hair, who would have thought?

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great hub. We learn something new every day on Hub Pages. I will buy some molasses the next time i shop.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      How 'bout that, Bk? Guess our hair likes sweet stuff, too. Thanks for enlarging my molasses education.

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Very interesting information! I had no idea that you could use molasses for your hair!