Q. Caution to the sulfite sensitive! My parents swear by gin-soaked raisins for arthritis. I tried them and after about a week I did notice an increased range of motion. But more importantly, they also triggered a migraine.

A web search immediately confirmed my suspicion: sulfites. I expected the gin to be the culprit, but to my surprise it is the golden raisins. Sulfites are added to preserve the light color.

A. You’re right: golden raisins do contain sulfites. In some sulfite-sensitive people this could trigger a life-threatening reaction.

Some people report pain relief using regular raisins soaked in gin, a recipe that doesn’t include sulfites. Others are enthusiastic about Certo and grape juice or about various juice combinations with vinegar. We have compiled these recipes in the Guide to Home Remedies we are sending you.

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  1. Garg R.
    Reply

    I have taken gin soaked raisins @ 9 per day up to 10 days and repeat it thrice. I felt relief in my joint pains. However, after one month i again feel joint pains. Kindly suggest me length of period to take gin soaked raisins for complete rest.

  2. cw
    Reply

    How long do you soak raisins in gin? Do you cover the raisins with gin? Do you let dry once they’ve been soaked? How do you keep them? In the fridge?

  3. Vicki
    Reply

    I have a friend who has arthritis in her knees and she has had a great deal of success just drinking gin and tonic at night. Her knees stay pain-free for two days and then she has to have another drink. No, she is not an alcoholic and no she is not drunk and therefore pain-free. It all came about when she was traveling with friends and had a leisure drink gin and tonic one night.
    The next day she was out walking in a local mall and realized her knees didn’t hurt. She thought back to what she had eaten or drank the day before and associated it with the gin and tonic as she had heard about the gin and raisin remedy. She stayed pain free for two days and when the pain came back decided to try it again; sure enough it worked again. So, if you allergic to the sulphites in golden raisins…try gin and whatever you like to mix with it and see if that works for you too.

  4. anne
    Reply

    Can someone tell me about how much sulfites is in 9 raisins? I am sensitive to this thanks so much.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO SULFITES, PICK ANOTHER REMEDY. EVEN 9 RAISINS ARE TOO RISKY!

  5. Deb
    Reply

    So how much gin to a pound of white raisins?

  6. Jim
    Reply

    What do you think about this? I will try it for shoulder pain.. And let you know if it works for me.

  7. Joy
    Reply

    Do you keep the raisins in the Fridge? Do you put a lid on them?

  8. Bo
    Reply

    After reading about the gin-raisin method for dealing with arthritis I decided to give it a try. I had been on numerous medications previously, none of which worked even the slightest bit. Every morning I would awaken with severe swelling in my hands and arms. The pain was excruciating. The stiffness in my joints was so bad I couldn’t touch my thumbs to my palms. I spent my nights trying to remain on my back while I slept instead of on my side thinking that might help alleviate the pain, numbness, stiffness and swelling I would awaken with each day. Every day, the pain and swelling grew worse. I had heard about the gin-raisin recipe thinking little of it until I couldn’t take anymore pain. I decided to give it a try. What did I have to lose?
    I soaked the golden raisins for about a week or more, then began adding nine raisins to my cereal every morning. After only the first day of the gin-raisin recipe the morning swelling in my arms and hands disappeared. I thought it was coincidence most likely, but I also thought it was pretty amazing that I didn’t have pain for the first time in months.
    Every day I would have my raisins in my cereal. Every morning I awoke feeling better. The swelling continued to fade. The pain in my arms was disappearing completely. I would awaken with no stiffness in my hands and toes! Frankly, I couldn’t believe it was working (I’m quite the skeptic), but I wasn’t about to stop.
    It’s been three weeks since starting the gin-raisin concoction and I can not begin to tell you what a great relief it is!!
    I am now sleeping on my side with comfort all night. My hands, toes, feet, shoulders, wrists…EVERYTHING….are free of swelling, pain, stiffness and numbness. It no longer takes me hours to get movement back into my joints in the morning. I awaken with normal flexibility. I am good to go!
    Take it for what it’s worth, but I do believe this recipe actually is working for me. I usually am not the type to succumb to the placebo effect, and I’m usually the first to disavow what I might consider a cracked out “home recipe” of cures. I’m not quite sure I believe it myself, but I’m not going to stop now.
    I’ve made a commitment to finish off that pound of raisins nine at a time until they’re all gone. If I can get through all of those raisins (it’s a lot) and I’m still feeling this good, I will surely declare it as an absolute success for me. I have not been pain free even for one day over the last three years until I started this gin-raisin thing.

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