We first heard about gin-soaked raisins as a remedy for arthritis back in 1994. A gentleman wrote to ask our opinion about this approach. At the time, we thought it was the most original home remedy we had encountered, but we had no way of knowing whether it would help anyone.
Since then, we have heard from hundreds of readers of our syndicated newspaper column and visitors to this website. Many report outstanding success. Others tell us that the gin-raisin remedy is worthless. Why some would get such benefit and others none is beyond us. Then again, some people get great relief from ibuprofen and others find it doesn’t do much for their discomfort. Ditto for glucosamine and chondroitin.
Here are just a few recent stories about gin-soaked raisins:
Last fall I began having arthritis pains in my knees. It was painful to walk up and down stairs. I tried the gin-soaked raisins, though I fully expected that they wouldn’t work.
I was amazed and thrilled that after one week I could feel a difference. After about one and a half months, the improvement is terrific! I am thrilled and hope it keeps up.
Dona, January 14, 2011
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I suffered from hip pain for almost six years. The pain was worse when I was standing, not so bad when I was walking or moving around.
During this time, I went to two different chiropractors, had three different injections with three different doctors (pain doctors and sports medicine), and went through several acupuncture sessions with two different acupuncturists. My regular doctor commented that two of his patients had pain relief from the raisin/gin treatment, so I tried it.
A few days after I started the treatment I was standing in line to pick up some prescriptions at WalMart and suddenly realized I had no hip pain even though I was standing. I’ve been pain free for a little over a year now.
JM August 10, 2010
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I personally am completely convinced that taking a teaspoon a day of the gin-soaked raisins has done what the chiropractor could not do for my feet and ankles. My problem was serious because I have a gardening business and I MUST walk, shovel, rake, and move around on uneven ground many times a week.
I was in such pain. I am 60, but I must keep doing hard physical work because it is my only source of income. Not even a couple of ibuprofen could really help, but what turned the condition around was the raisins.
Cindy March 5, 2008
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Many people want detailed instructions about how to make and use gin-soaked raisins. You can find lots more information in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis…but you may prefer to purchase them ready made from a new sponsor of this website, DrunkenRaisins.com.

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  1. Wilbur L.
    Reply

    Joint pain is a part of ulcerative colitis, which I have along with Osteoarthritis. Pain is very bad and do not want more carving done on my body. (joint replacement). Am doing the apple cider vinegar for my colitis also the Tart Cherry for the joint pain. Am willing to try the grape/gin also to try to get rid I=of some of the pain.
    Has any one else with colitis had any experience with the Grape/gin regiment?
    Can you not place the grapes in a mason jar alone with the gin and keep it covered. I do not understand placing the mix in a covered dish and letting the gin evaporate What is the reason for that?

  2. MLChannell
    Reply

    the gin-soaked raisins really worked for me handa and knees do not hurt anymore great information

  3. Nancy W
    Reply

    So far, I haven’t read anything about the gin-soaked raisin treatment for joint pain that addresses the issue of whether it is safe to continue taking the 9 raisins a day when also taking medications, such as antifungals, that advise not to consume alcohol while taking them. Is the amount of alcohol in the raisins so minuscule that no harm would result from taking them at the same time as the meds?

  4. Shinta
    Reply

    My Mother is having Hepatitis and joint pain.
    Can she consume Raisin soak with Dry Gin?
    Thanks,
    Shinta

  5. jar
    Reply

    I read several articles for the drunken raisins and decided that even though I am a breast cancer survivor that the arthritis in my back was so severe that I could hardly turn over in bed or even get out of bed in the a.m. that it was worth a try. The pain was so bad that I thought my cancer had returned and was in my back, but tests showed it was arthritis.
    After the first several days I actually got out of bed and noticed that I didn’t have to walk to the bathroom all bent over. I could stand straight and had no back pain. I don’t always take them on a daily basis – just when I remember – and the pain still has not returned even after several months.
    I finally convinced my husband to try it for his arthritis. He noticed relief after only a few days and also had more energy. I don’t know if that goes along with it, but he did mention the extra energy. He’s on heart medication so we were concerned about the amount of alcohol but were convinced there wasn’t much alcohol left in the raisins after we drained the remainder of the gin off. Make sure you purchase a gin that specifically states that they make it with juniper berries and use only the golden raisins. Don’t leave the raisins set in the gin or you are getting more alcohol in your system. They need to be drained.

  6. Robert Y.
    Reply

    My mom showed me the article y’all ran in the Houston Chronicle back in ’94; I had been on Gluco/MSM/Chon and was fretful about the MSM side effects beforehand.
    if you recollect, you also had one testimonial from a bald man that said the side effects of the 9 gin-soaked (golden) raisins had started regrowth of hair (after about a year)…I presume y’all remember that?
    When I read that I was SOLD!
    For over a decade now my joints don’t bother me…unless I fail to keep a supply on hand of drunken raisins. (a few days without sure reminds you why you were taking them!) and no, it didn’t fill in the male pattern baldness, but at 71 I still have much of the hair left that probably wouldn’t be there today otherwise.
    btw, Dr. Oz said this works in one of his recent broadcasts… for joint pain not the baldness angle-

  7. CATHERINE L.
    Reply

    Am taking raisins soaked in gin for sciatica pain about a teaspoon a day feel a little relief but want to know how long it takes and if you ever heard of this someone told me her mother tried this and it helped. I’m willing to try anything to get rid of this pain I am currently getting therapy seems to help but not fast enough have this pain going on three months.

  8. Woody
    Reply

    I believe that no one can make the general statement that Gin soaked raisins work! Why? Because each person processes whatever food taken into the body, differently. The comment should be: “Gin soaked raisins work or don’t work for ME, personally.” Personally I have taken them regularly for some time, and feel they help, but I’m still not sure. But I don’t believe they harm me in any way. To anyone I say: “Try them and see for yourself if they give you relief.”

  9. Mignon
    Reply

    From the People’s Pharmacy column in the Dallas Morning News, I had found this advice for toenail fungi: Apply Vicks Vaporub to the toenail daily. I have done this religiously since October 2010, and have saved my toenail. It had been black and just about ready to fall off; now, it is a normal color, and attached to almost halfway from the nailbed. I am very pleased, even though it is a lengthy process!

  10. Pat
    Reply

    I was positive raisins with gin would not work. I had an unexplained weeks-long pain in my groin area. I used a coffee cup half full of raisins, poured the gin to just cover, and stored it covered in the refrigerator. After a couple hours I ate 9 raisins a day. I can’t remember how long it took but I think the pain was gone in a few days. I stopped eating the raisins about a month after the pain was gone. This was a year ago and the pain has not returned.

  11. akoolmom
    Reply

    I recently started having bad knee pain in my left knee and was diagnosed by my doctor with early arthritis. The pain was awful and taking naproxen was not helping. I was given the gin & raisins recipe by a friend who said it worked well for him. I was skeptical at first… but followed the directions.. ate 9 a day and amazingly after about I would say 9 days… I felt no pain in that knee. I was able to bend it further than ever before and even do a little running. I am still taking them as I want to finish the whole amount. They are great in oatmeal. I would recommend this to everybody who is suffering arthritis. They were not hard to make.

  12. GB
    Reply

    I soaked the golden raising for only 2 days and have found some relief from hip pain. I will certainly keep on using them, hoping for even more good results.

  13. Victorry
    Reply

    I have tried the gin-n-raisins for a week and it works, I have OA., chronic hip pain that won’t let me sleep and pain in my hands, my coworkers didn’t believe me so I told them I’ll be there guinea pig and got off the remedy for a week and my pain is back to severe and not able to sleep, I am going back to my 9 raisins a day! I felt so relieved and not taking any meds was even a plus! but I don’t understand why they can’t be in the fridge? does anybody have answer?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: OF COURSE YOU CAN KEEP THEM IN THE FRIDGE. YOU JUST DON’T HAVE TO.

  14. DYJ
    Reply

    I have been using sloe gin and golden raisins for over two years now. What is truly amazing is that IT WORKS!!!!! I religiously buy sloe gin and make up another batch every time i get close to running out. This has been a life saver for me. I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees. Was not able to step off the curb without feeling pain. As long as I take my raisin every morning I have NO PAIN! I tell everyone I know about this remedy. IT WORKS!!!

  15. gmfgal
    Reply

    I would put them in a jar in the fridge. Better safe than sorry.

  16. Shari
    Reply

    I left the raisins at room temp to absorb, then moved them to the fridge. They taste good cold!

  17. JD
    Reply

    I was in so much pain before trying the Gin-Soaked Raisins that I was considering having surgery. After only 3 days of eating the raisins the pain is almost gone!

  18. CHUCK Z.
    Reply

    When you are waiting for the gin to evaporate should the raisins be in the refrigerator? ALSO, I have heard that you should put them in a GLASS jar or bowl. Is this true?

  19. PJA
    Reply

    Each time I read of this ‘interesting’ relief recipe I want to try it
    however no one says if we are to let them remain at room temp or refrigerate. I’ll wait for a response. Thank you in advance

  20. JAS
    Reply

    I have read that apple cider vinegar works also, instead of the gin. Is this so?
    Thanks

  21. Shari K.
    Reply

    For some reasons (and no one can really come up with the exact reason), golden raisins are the only raisins that work for the gin soaked raisin arthritis remedy. Go figure.
    1. Purchase a box of golden raisins – they might be called ‘white raisins’ depending on where you live.
    2. Empty the golden raisins in a shallow bowl and cover with gin~~ just barely cover them.
    Leave the white raisins to soak and do not disturb for 11-14 days until the gin has evaporated. Once the gin is evaporated, they’re ready to eat!
    3. Eat 9 gin soaked raisins a day.

  22. Patricia
    Reply

    I made mine with black raisins & keep them in a jar in the refrigerator & often add them to my recipes; the best one is my italian meatballs made with ground organic turkey… The raisins & gin combination add alot of flavor & some sweetness to both the meatballs & the tomato sauce…Try it–yum…

  23. Shari
    Reply

    The recipe that I’ve seen the most often does state golden raisins.
    Here it is:
    take a box of golden raisins. (note: they must be the golden variety, sometimes called white raisins, not ordinary black raisins).
    place the raisins in a shallow container.
    cover the raisins with gin.
    let the raisins soak in the gin for a few weeks until the gin evaporates.
    you then eat nine of these drunken raisins a day to help your arthritis. (note: nine a day is the number you see most often, but you’ll find many variations of the number).

  24. CL
    Reply

    I am intrigued by the rainsin/gin treatment and would like to recommend it to various family members. Ironically the 2 who could benefit most are recovering alcoholics. While it seems unwise to share this info with them, is there something about the processing of the raisins that would make it appropriate? Thank you very much.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
    We would discourage any recovering alcoholic from making this up him or herself. Having a bottle of gin around the house might be just too much temptation.
    That said, there is only a tiny bit of alcohol left in the raisins after you let it evaporate (it takes about a week to 10 days for that to happen). Perhaps someone else could make a batch or you could consider our new sponsor…Drunken Raisins that have been “sobered up.”

  25. K T
    Reply

    I have type 2 diabetes. I don’t think I am supposed to take this am I? Is there something else similar that I would be able to use?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: RAISINS SOAKED IN GIN ARE HIGH IN CARBOHYDRATES AND SO WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR MANY PEOPLE WITH DIABETES. SPICES SUCH AS TURMERIC, GINGER OR CAYENNE MIGHT BE WORTH A TRY TO SEE IF THEY HELP YOU.

  26. jean
    Reply

    I notice that the photo of raisins shows golden raisins (my favorite). Are they, in particular, the preferred type? Jean
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE:
    Golden raisins are preferred…though some folks report benefit from regular black raisins.

  27. Robert H.
    Reply

    Hello,
    I am a relatively young man (still) and I am riddled with advanced arthritis in my spine and neck, have it in my hips and knees. I am interested in gin-soaked raisins and their affect on my body. What is the process; how often do I consume and how many raisins do I eat?
    Thank you very much.
    Robert H.

  28. Red Clay
    Reply

    Studies have shown that wine is probably ok for breast cancer ductal carcinoma survivors, but hard liquor is not. Would this raisin/gin recipe then be a risk for breast cancer survivors?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THERE IS VERY LITTLE ALCOHOL IN THE DAILY DOSE. WE DON’T HAVE A GOOD ANSWER, BUT SUSPECT IT WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM.

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