Q. I read about the gin-raisin method for dealing with arthritis and decided to give it a try. None of the many medicines I had tried worked even the slightest bit. Every morning I awoke with severe swelling in my hands and arms, with the joints so stiff I couldn’t touch my thumbs to my palms. The pain was excruciating.

The day after eating my first daily dose of nine gin-soaked raisins, the morning swelling in my arms and hands was gone. It was probably coincidence, but I thought it was amazing that I had no pain for the first time in months.

Every day I had raisins in my cereal. Every morning I awoke feeling better. The pain in my arms was disappearing. I would awaken with no stiffness in my hands and toes!

Frankly, I couldn’t believe it was working (I’m a skeptic), but I wasn’t about to stop. It’s been three weeks since starting the gin-raisin concoction and I can’t tell you what a great relief it is! It no longer takes me hours to get movement back into my joints in the morning. I awaken with normal flexibility, good to go!

I’ve made a commitment to finish off that pound of raisins nine at a time until they’re all gone. If I’m still feeling this good, I will surely declare it 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.

A. Thanks for your amazing story. Few people get such dramatic relief, but many people find gin-soaked raisins helpful. Anyone who would like more details about using gin-soaked raisins may be interested in our Guide to Home Remedies.

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  1. AD
    Reply

    I am 29 and i have Rhumetoid Arthritis, I know its pretty early. But iIhave checked myself at Northwestern University Hospital and after doing the CAT/MRI scan or some xray of my knee, they told me its arthritis and they can’t do anything about it…So I am in a dilemma that where I could use this gin soaked raisins and would be fine….like an alternative medicine and how much it can work…

  2. Susann D.
    Reply

    I would also like to know, should they be refrigerated?

  3. Pat
    Reply

    A few questions for People’s Pharmacy… How long do we soak the raisins before they are ready to start the treatment successfully? Also, can I keep the jar in the refrigerator. Do you know if “organic” golden raisins contain sulfur? I didn’t see any response from you to the question “…can we use other types of raisins with no sulphides.”
    Thank You.

  4. MW
    Reply

    I’ve had good results with the gin/golden raisin combo. The person who told me about it said to use organic raisins, I don’t know why. But it’s working and I’m not changing it.

  5. Jezebel38
    Reply

    My daughter-in-law’s grandmother used this remedy for years and swore by it. She helped her son raise three daughters on his own and did could not afford to let arthritis keep her down. She was a fabulous cook and remained very active until she died at the age of 92. She would put the raisins in a quart jar and add a pint of gin taking a tablespoon every morning until they were all gone and then start all over again.
    I don’t recall her saying whether they were golden raisins though. I always thought they were regular raisins. I began to have problems with arthritis several years ago, especially in my hands and feet but took up Yoga and that has helped a lot. But I always said if it became a problem I would try the gin-raisin remedy in a heartbeat!

  6. EGS
    Reply

    I’m not sure why you’re asking ME specifically about sulfur (it came to my email). I’ve no idea, am only someone who has arthritis/severe orthopedic pain and tried the gin-soaked raisins. My first attempt didn’t succeed.
    I’m not sure if it’s because the raisins I got were very small and didn’t absorb the gin in the specified amount of time (I allowed much longer), or not. I faithfully took the 9 every morning. Felt no change whatsoever. I had two jars of them. Even though they were supposed to absorb all the gin, there was still a LOT of liquid left even though I followed the instructions to the letter.
    RESPONSE: SO SORRY YOU GOT NO BENEFIT. NOT EVERYONE DOES.
    IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE YOU HAVE GOTTEN EMAILS ABOUT THIS BECAUSE YOU CHECKED THE “NOTIFY ME” BOX WHEN YOU LEFT YOUR COMMENT. IF YOU GET ANOTHER COMMENT, LOOK FOR THE LINK TO UNSUBSCRIBE TO COMMENT AND CLICK IT.
    I intend to try again. Use a wider, deeper bowl – buy raisins in bulk rather than the boxed kind, see if it makes a difference.
    If it doesn’t, then – according to ‘Joe’ does that mean I’m also ‘past the point of no return’? What does that mean, exactly? I have osteoarthritis and a lot of joint pain from various causes. I can get by if I could lessen the severity of any of the areas of my pain. I don’t have any hand deformity and am still able to walk (and look) almost normal to those not in the know.
    I’m looking for non-narcotic pain relief (as are most people here), and am giving this a real shot. There are some of us for whom even the strongest meds do nothing – so you have to allow for the possibility of it not being a cure-all for everyone. I’m still hoping this next go-round will prove to be better. Here’s hoping.

  7. gz
    Reply

    Need an answer asap. Taking 9 golden raisins a day, will this be a problem for a person who is allergic to sulfur?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YES. GOLDEN RAISINS ARE PRESERVED WITH SULFATE.

  8. gg
    Reply

    Want to try but am afraid of the sulfur amount. Does anyone know if 9 per day is a medical problem for person with sulfur allergy?

  9. EGS
    Reply

    To Michelle: The recipe specifically calls for golden raisins and gin. I don’t know their reasons behind calling for those specific items, but am going to use whatever the recipe dictates, since I have severe arthritis pain (osteo), along with osteoporosis, some spinal degeneration and a current high level of neck, upper and lower back and knee pain I’m attempting to bring down to a manageable level. I’m the perfect candidate for this test since I have several different areas of pain and know which is bone, muscular, nerve,etc.

  10. EGS
    Reply

    I’m about to begin the GIN-soaked golden-raisin recipe by the Wilen Sisters. The reason a lot of people haven’t posted the EXACT instructions, is because it costs each of us $40 to buy the book in which the recipe is printed in detail! GIN is the alcohol to be used, not RUM. They specified that the recipe is to be followed to the letter. And the specific number of raisins eaten in the morning (preferably) and no more than that amount.
    I came here because I wasn’t sure whether I should begin a 2nd batch when I begin to run low on the first, if it indeed helps my pain. Nothing else does. And as for the ‘placebo’ or ‘numbing by alcohol’ effect, the Graedons tested it (People’s Pharmacy) – as well as Dr.Stengler (I believe) and found the amount of alcohol in the 9 raisins to be no more than one drop. No one’s getting drunk or high on one drop of alcohol, but they do suggest that if a person is on meds with which this COULD or MIGHT be a problem, they should consult with their physician before beginning the trial. I’ll post my results in a month.

  11. Joe B.
    Reply

    I am amazed at your response of “It did nothing for me.” I suggest you try it again unless your condition is past the point of no return. This DOES work, not the magic cure but it does work, time, patience, belief and consistency is the key. Good Luck AGAIN

  12. Ben
    Reply

    I am a retired orthopedic surgeon. One of the worst diagnoses I can imagine is that of rheumatoid arthritis. Some of my patients have lived for years with constant pain. I have always been very active. In January of this year I found (at age 76) that I was falling a lot on my first run skiing at Mt. Sunapee. No injury. A few weeks later multiple joints began to be painful, my wrist and hands swelled to the point where I Iost, in a matter of weeks, all median nerve function in my right hand and had to have carpal tunnel release. I couldn’t get out of bed without a cane. I could barely hold the cane. My muscles were melting away. One day I had an epiphany, this after many doctor visits and lab tests: I was taking pravachol, a statin. I stopped it. Over night all my hip, back and leg symptoms disappeared. My hands persisted, with occasional shoulder symptoms. I had already lost a lot of muscle strength and volume. I was popping Advils 4-5 times a day. Symptoms gradually have abated. It seemed as if my joint fluid was superglue. If I stayed still, sat at the desk, drove a long way — I’d glue together. Now I swim 3-4 times a week, stretch with pilates, exercise at the gym. The arthritis doctor still thinks I may have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. I still suspect the statins, The change was too dramatic. I am better. I no longer need Advil. I started the raisin in rum recipe today. I hope the early morning symptoms stay away. If they don’t help they will at least give me a buzz. To all of you out there in rheumatoid land–keep stretching, keep moving. Ben

  13. Ed W.
    Reply

    Responding to the inquiry of “do you start another batch as soon as the container is empty”. For my wife I keep two containers so there is no delay in the continued use of the raisin/gin mixture. My wife likes gin&tonic so the little bit of gin left over goes into a mixed drink then I refill the first one that is emptied.

  14. slc
    Reply

    Once you start the process of the raisins in gin, how often do you add more raisins or gin or do you start the process from the beginning once you have consumed all of the raisin/gin concoction? Thank you for your response.

  15. Joyce B.
    Reply

    I want to try the gin soaked raisins for arthritis but I understand the golden raisins contain sulfur which I am allergic to so I was wondering if I should try them or stay away from them?

  16. hiway280z
    Reply

    Did nothing for me.

  17. Michelle M.
    Reply

    In regards to the gin soaked raisins for joint pain can you use other raisins or only golden ones and why can’t all work?

  18. Ed W.
    Reply

    When you have testimonials about remedies, why don’t you publish the quantities and frequency of these remedies? I have read your testimonials about the gin and raisin remedy and some where I read that you eat 9 of these a day. I also read about the grape juice and Certo mixture but no where have I heard how much or how often. What ratio is used? I also read about Aspertame in drinks to reduce inflammation. How many drinks per day? I am all for home remedies because they do not have to have a prescription and do less harm than commercial medications. Other wise, I love reading the articles in out newspaper every Wednesday. Please do not ever go away.

  19. Judy Z
    Reply

    When I first read about gin-soaked raisins on your site I did not have the “recipe”. So for the last few months, I soaked the raisins in a covered jar, and they plumped up with gin. I ate 9 at night and they really helped and were delicious! I returned recently from a 3 week trip and had not taken the raisins. By the time I got home, my knees were very painful. Do you see any problem with my method?

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