Why you need to know about blackstrap molasses

Posted February 8, 2011

When someone mentions the word ‘molasses’ I instantly think of horses. While I love horses, the association between them and this thick, black syrup was never a pleasant one – until I read about just how good a particular type of molasses is for our health. Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is a source of vital nutrients that are lacking in most of our diets. Molasses is a star among the sweeteners as it doesn’t cause your blood sugar level to spike, as per the effect of refined white sugar. It is also full of minerals and has been used for yonks to remedy many health conditions.

It sounds kind of gross, but molasses is actually the by-product or waste derived from processing sugar cane into table sugar. After sugar canes are harvested, machines are used to press the juice out of the cane. That juice is boiled then put through centrifugal machinery to extract the sugar crystals from the liquid. There are three grades of molasses: sulphured, unsulphured, and blackstrap. Sulphur is a chemical used to process unripe green cane sugar. This is the stuff you want to stay away from. When the sugar cane has been ripened from the sun, it doesn’t need sulphur. Obviously, this is a better choice. Blackstrap molasses is the most concentrated and most nutrient sense of the three grades, obtained from the third boiling of the sugar cane juice.

What it’s got going for it:
Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index, which means the glucose and carbohydrates are metablolised slowly, demanding less insulin production and stabilising blood sugar.

While regular ol’ white sugar actually depletes your body of nutrients, blackstrap molasses will provide you with a whole host of important minerals. Being high in iron, folic acid and B vitamins means it is great for your blood. It is high in calcium and magnesium, which is important for bone production and energy. Because it contains potassium, magnesium and manganese it is also beneficial to the nervous system and heart health. On top of those it contains copper and zinc.

Blackstrap molasses has been touted for its wide spread healing ability with cases including growths, strokes, arthritis, ulcers, skin conditions, high blood pressure, constipation, varicose veins, anaemia, bladder issues, gall-stones, nerve cases and pregnancy. It is also among the list of alkaline foods, while white sugar is highly acidic.

What to do with it:
Blackstrap molasses can be used in place of your usual sweetener of choice. Just test it first to gauge how much you will need to use. It is much stronger than honey and maple syrup.

It can also be used as a tonic by mixing a tablespoon or two with a glass of warm water. Some have used this mix three times a day as a remedy for extreme conditions. It’s best taken before meals.

Where you can get it:
Choose an organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses. You should be able to pick up a bottle at your local organic or health food store. If they don’t stock it on the shelf, just ask if they can order it in for you or point you in the right direction.

Has anyone tried blackstrap molasses? Thoughts?

Positive affirmation for the day: Today I will let go of all thoughts and opinions that are negative and destructive in my life.

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Ali says:

Great article, Jess!

Molasses is more common in my homeland, as we use it a lot in baking, especially for gingerbread cookies! Of course not quite as healthy as your suggestions haha

But then again, you can make amazing gingerbread cookies quite healthy by only using molasses and using things like a bit of LSA and alternate flour types that are more healthy. It's so dense anyway… my daughter loves it, and I always add a lot of spices like clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and even cardamom which are also great for you! :)

Food for thought. :)

Pee-jay says:

Who knew a by-product of cane sugar could be so good for you! You are always full of useful information- THANK YOU!

John L. Wright says:

We have started to wean ourselves from our morning coffee by drinking blackstrap and honey, made with hot water. It's very soothing and comforting. Now that you mention it, black strap does not induce that sugar spike that coffee with cream and sugar can. And I don't miss the caffeine when I drink Black strap – probably because I'm getting actual nutrients and b vitamins. Great post!

Anonymous says:

I love it! I also read somewhere that you can add it to your coffee enema if you have trouble holding for the full duration (the magnesium effect!). And of course you can cook it up with aluminium-free bicarbinate of soda if you want to try the Mark Sircus cancer treatment…….Nicola.x

Anonymous says:

I have a friend that used it with lemon juice in water. She was on a fast. Drinking this concoction every day, several times, gave her the nutrients she needed to not suffer during her fast. She did it for a month. Lost weight and was over the hunger pains in a few days. I couldn't do a fast, but I would recommend the concoction for a detox periodically. I think it is 1 teaspoon of each to a cup of water, not sure. But may be to taste as well.

Jane says:

Hi Jess, I’ve only just discovered blackstrap molasses after reading about it on http://www.earthclinic.com

I need to replenish my supply and it seems to be unavailable EVERYWHERE – what is happening? Is there a reason everywhere is out of stock?

As to my method of taking it, i first tried it in my oat bran porridge – yuck!! Much too strong. I have since tried it in coffee, and also in my nightly kefir. I find 1 teaspoon in either coffee or kefir is really quite delicious, so i’m delighted to have found a means of taking it.

In the meantime, I’m keen to know what’s going on with the supply, so if you know, please let us know.

Kind regards

Great article! You make things so easy to understand :o)

I just picked up a jar of homemade molasses from a guy who sells fresh sugarcane juice at the markets. I think it’s just a first boil though. I guess it must still be full of the good stuff even if it has a higher sugar content?

I’m very curious to know what you do with it Jess? Do you use it regularly?

Also, how does it stack up against rapadura, which is also whole cane juice – but I can’t remember how they dry it? Oh dear, this could get distracting…

Naomi says:

I have been taking 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses in a glass of water or with my oatmeal everyday for two weeks My energy levels have improved. I believe the iron in it has reduced my feelings of fatigue. Its a pleasure to eat and its my new favourite daily treat:)

bev says:

I have been taking 1 tbsp of blackstrap mollasses along with 1 tbsp of braggs apple cider vinegar with the mother for my low ferritin leverls which are 10… i have noticed that my stools are black, is that normal with taking the molasses? I have been scoped (both ways) and CAT scanned and nothing showed up…

sonya says:

I read somewhere that having a daily dose of mollasses can inhibit graying hair, and even return natural hair colour. I mentioned it to my 80yr old grandmother and she said “nonsense, I have been taking it regularly for years, and have only stopped in the past year. It hasn’t helped my hair”. I looked at her and said ” but your hair has only turned gray in the past year. It’s never been gray until now” lol. So I think there maybe some truth to it? If i can remember to take it daily, it may help me stay looking younger

karen says:

You are always my go to reference when looking for some new information. I see this post was written in 2011. I have just been given some backstrap mollasses by my sister who has cleared out her pantry while she leads a nomad lifestyle around Australia for 12 months. Googled it and was pleased to see a post from you. I really had no idea what to do with it, so thank you.

Kathy says:

I have just today a glass of hot water with a teaspoon of molasses in it because of constipation in three hours after drinking it the job was done.
I purchased the molasses at the local produce store for animals.

Megan says:

Blackstrap molasses tastes horrible on its own and I’d rather go without a sweetener in my beverages period than use it. However it really tastes great with home-baked bread and gives it a nice brown colour. I imagine it would go well with biscuits and some kinds of cakes as well.

Chelsey says:

It’s also great for easing menstrual cramps. I suffered with Dysmenorrhea for more than a decade, and then found a youtube video describing the affects of blackstrap molasses on cramps. I take 1 Tbsp per day, and it has made a HUGE difference. Before I would often have to abstain from normal activities, because I was in too much pain to leave the house. Now there is still some discomfort for the first few days, but I’ve been able to maintain my regular routine, even exercising on those days! It’s seriously been a life changer for me.

I take it by adding hot water and a little half and half to a coffee mug-size cup. It’s delicious this way – like a gingerbread latte!

Bob says:

Well then, how does it compare to “malt syrup”?
I ask because of the very similar taste and color.
A soft drink called “Malta” is widely available in many countries (esp. in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Venezuela, etc.). So, I suspect is made from molasses … in spite of/because of the name and these are regions that were the principal sources of cane sugar processing for centuries (until the last 50 years, really).
I know now to check the label and avoid bottles with added HFCS (corn syrup), preferring those made just with “malt”… whatever that is.
In any case, I did not like it at all at first, but grew to love it.
Since it tastes like molasses and water, is it as healthful as molasses?

Please clear up this confusion.

[NOTE: before long you will be getting LOTS of questions about molasses + sodium carbonate (baking soda) as a major, alkalizing health tonic.]


I use it for baking cookies and bread. It makes me feel less guilty when I eat 5 cookies in one sitting.

Lori says:

Been using 12 oz of water, 3 tbs of lemon juice, and 1 tbs of blackstrap on and off for as long as I can remember. Have since read lemon juice is good for liver balance and to alkalize our system (which apparently helps fight cancer and other bad stuff )

Allison says:

I made pancakes for my children and I added blackstrap molasses as well as a little flax seed. It came out thicker and they loved it! Healthy and delicious!

WAYNE says:

is it ok to have blackstrap molasses from a produce store

Tim says:

black strap molasses and baking soda in a glass of water , good for me.. :)

Tony says:

Dear Jess. Great reading about molasses. I have type 2 Diabetes and a little high blood pressure controlled with Lisinipril 2 x 20 mg per night. I have been taking Molasses 1 large Tablespoon in my porridge oats for over 12 months not really helping my blood pressure though. Any thoughts on how much I should take to help with blood pressure please.
I don’t & have not taken normal white sugar for years, I don’t drink tea or coffee or juices. possibly 2 units alcohol per month. don’t smoke.
Yours Tony Hoole

Tracy says:

What a great website – so glad I found you.

Loana says:

I love your site! Great information from the heart. I have heard that Blackstrap Molasses and baking soda is a miracle cure for cancer and candida. There are lots of Youtube and other information with testimonials on it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl8Y8I_TsjI

Jillian says:

I have organic blackstrap molasses unsulphered and I don’t know what you guys are talking about. It is not at all sweet. Blackstrap is not regular molasses. The third pull shouldn’t be sweet at all. It tastes like used motor oil. Probably the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth and makes me want to vomit every morning. I still take it for health but people should be warned that it is purely disgusting.

Dawn says:

I agree with you that it is not sweet. It takes a little bit of getting used to the taste, but I find that if I swig the molasses down with a little warm water (after first dissolving it in the water, and immediately drink more water, that that certainly helps.

alan lee says:

When I was young ,in the ’50s in the U.K I was extremely unwell because of asthma which brought my immunity so low I was nearly at deaths door and seriously underweight. The Doctor was giving me some sort of expectorant for months,which was not doing a lot of good. My father who was raised in the country threw the doctors medicine away in disgust and made me have a daily dose of molasses,his reasoning that if it was good for animals it was for me. After a while my health really picked up and was hailed as a near miracle by my parents and people who knew us. I still have allergic asthma but at my last medical check up my doctor exclaimed ” wow, a healthy man” at 65 I certainly don’t feel it. I can put this down to molasses and a healthy lifestyle.

Dawn says:

Back in the 1970’s, whilst I was still in my teens, my father took me to the Natureopath because I had health problems. He gave me a diet sheet and a few supplements which I followed. He also recommended a tablespoon of Blackstrap molasses in warm water first thing every morning. I followed this regimen religiously. After approximately six months my energy levels were phenomenal. I also noticed that the dandruff and the catarrh had disappeared and that I had lost weight and my hair was jet black and shiny. I am now in my late fifties and have some grey hairs at the temples and the front of my head. For health reasons I have decided to start trying this molasses again. Thank you for your review, as it has helped me to make this decision.

cindi says:

Just took my 1st dose this morning and oh boy will I need to get used to that taste! Ick.

Jen says:

Thanks for the great explanation! I start my day with a glass of warm water and add either blackstrap molasses or lemon juice. Depends on whst my body needs at the time, building blood (molasses) or detox (lemon juice)

Terrific post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?

I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
Appreciate it!