Q. I read about golden raisins and gin helping arthritis. I am 66 with arthritis and post-polio syndrome, so I am looking for any conservative approach to pain relief.
Is there a reason that people choose golden rather than brown raisins? Is any type of alcohol OK or is gin the only one to try? Do you have any other non-drug treatment hints to help me?

A. Home remedies often have no science to back them up, and this one is no exception. Some people who have done their own experimenting found that dark raisins may also help. Others have tried rum instead of gin, and we recently heard that soaking raisins in vinegar and honey also works.
If gin-soaked raisins do not work, other natural remedies that might be worth a try include boswellia, bromelain, tart cherries, turmeric and various concoctions of grape juice with other juices. We are sending you our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis, with more details and many other options for you to try.

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  1. Alice V.
    Reply

    Listen to the program when I am driving before 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Heard about the raisins soaked in gin. Was it 7 raisins, 2 TBSP gin? How long to soak? Thanks
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE USUAL DOSE IS 9 RAISINS A DAY. THEY SHOULD BE SOAKED UNTIL THE GIN IS NO LONGER IN PUDDLES. HERE’S A LINK: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2005/10/18/gin-soaked-raisins-for-arthrit/

  2. jnr
    Reply

    I have started using the gin soaked raisins, and have seen a significant drop in my blood pressure. It had been gradually creeping up, but I was not yet on medication for it. Since I’ve been using the gin soaked raisins, my blood pressure has dropped 20 pts., and I’m now back in the normal range. Has anyone else reported this?

  3. rst
    Reply

    I had just started with raisins & gin last year, while in a clinical trial involving coummadin. Nurse thought I shouldn’t be doing it, so quit, but she couldn’t give me a good reason… Now arthritis getting worse, any knowledge out there why these shouldn’t mix? thks…
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE DON’T KNOW.

  4. M. Flynn
    Reply

    I was taking Advil daily for mild joint pain, etc., and was concerned about the effect it may be having on my liver – I have tried the raisins and I now have better results – pain relief – with the raisins in gin than I did with Advil. I am reminded of this should I forget to take for a few days, because the relief seems to be continuous with the raisins & it was not with Advil. I can only highly recommend this natural approach.

  5. Gerry Anne M.
    Reply

    Re: treatment for arthritis
    About 7 years ago, I replaced my daily Motrin 800 mg prescription with glucosamine, and have been very successful in managing my discomfort. I want to know, however, about the additional ingredient–chondroitin–which is also available, mixed with glucosamine. My research with 2 pharmacies has not provided me with understanding of the source of this ingredient, so I have avoided adding it to my system. Can you enlighten me? Thank you.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: CHONDROITIN IS PURIFIED FROM ANIMAL CARTILAGE. PORK, BEEF OR SHARK CARTILAGE MAY BE USED, OR OCCASIONALLY FISH OR POULTRY CARTILAGE. IT IS NOT A VEGETARIAN PRODUCT.

  6. Barb S.
    Reply

    I am also 66 with post polio and minor arthritis. My best feel good intake is 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day. D is essential for proper use of calcium, which affects joints and cartilage. It’s cheap and you can’t overdose at that level.
    It’s the juniper berries in gin that seems to be the active ingredient against arthritis.

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