Print This Page

Golden Raisins And Gin Worked Wonders For Pain

  • Currently 4.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.2/5 (289 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Q. I am totally confused this raisin remedy I keep reading about in your column. Why golden raisins and not black raisins? How much gin do you use and how long do you wait for the raisins to dry out? What happens if you eat more than nine raisins a day? How much alcohol is left in the raisins after it evaporates? Most important, does it really work against arthritis?

A. The gin and golden raisin recipe for arthritis is a home remedy. Like most such alternative approaches there is no science to explain the phenomenon.

Who knows how golden raisins were selected and why someone decided nine a day was the right dose. You empty a box of raisins in a bowl and pour just enough gin to cover them. Wait about a week or so for most of the gin to evaporate. Nine raisins have about a drop of alcohol.
You can learn more details about the "Gin Raisin Remedy" and read answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

As for the effectiveness of the raisin remedy, all we have are testimonials. One recent message offered the following:

"My husband had severe pain in his legs and hip. A friend told us about using white raisins soaked in gin. He started taking this and immediately saw a remarkable improvement. He also has diabetes and hypertension. We were not sure if the pain was from traumatic arthritis (he had had a pretty major accident in the past) or perhaps peripheral neuropathy from diabetes.

"Please share our experience. It has been a miracle for my husband. You only eat 9 raisins per day in the evening. He could barely get out of a chair before he started taking this home remedy."

  • Currently 4.2/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.2/5 (289 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!


| Leave a comment

It seems like such a waste of gin to let it evaporate in an open bowl. I put raisins in a large mason jar, cover with gin to about 1 inch above raisins and screw lid on. This makes the gin sweet and tasty for someone who wants a nip and it works to relieve
arthritis pain.

I am a reflexology and massage therapist with an arthritic thumb who has been on gin & raisins since symptoms began. When I run out of the mixture my thumb lets me know it is time for a trip to the gin mill! I have a little spoon in the jar in the frig to make it easy to grab a spoon full in the morning.

Remember not all gin contains herbs such as juniper berries.
Read the contents on line to decide which brand to buy. I think Beefeater gin has the most herbs including juniper berries. The "synthetic" gins without juniper berries aren't really gin.

How fast does it relieve the pain? I may want to try it for a bad pain I have at night in my left leg thigh muscle.

Thank you,


Gin is made from juniper berries; other berries are said to have anti-inflammatory agents, perhaps these do too and the power is not diluted by adding alcohol. Raisins too have anti-inflammatory properties, enhanced by drying. I would think combining the two creates a synergistic effect, far greater than just adding 1+1.

I keep the mixture partially covered and mix it up once or twice a day. I must confess when it is about half way done, plump raisins and just a taste of gin, I find them at their most delicious. However, for the most part, I resist.

Latterly I have been adding other dried fruits to the mix, most notably cranberries and raisins of other sizes and colors. I love the giant raisins and those I do not count when I eat them strictly for pleasure, not looking for any therapeutic effects. Now I don't eat gobs, probably not even as much weight as the golden raisins.

About six years ago, my sister tried this remedy to prove to me how crazy alternative treatments were. After three months, she called to admit her experiment and how well it worked for her knees. I began using them too, and when I sleep on my side, I no longer feel my hips are resting on knives.

Do you think this will work for someone who suffers from sciatica?

I think the reason only golden raisins are used is that these raisins contain sulphites rather than being sundried. Sulphur does work for arthritis.


I have been reading about this, so I just got my golden raisins and Bombay Gin. I will let them soak until evaporated. Am very anxious to try this. I have arthritis in my hands, shoulders, and also neuropathy in my legs. I am really hoping this relieves some of my pain. I take coumadin and cannot take any of the arthritis drugs!

About two or three weeks ago I begin to have aches and pains in my left knee. Sometimes it's hard to get up and get started. I have read several comments about the gin and raisins. I'm a sixty year old female and I have never had pains like this before. I can't wait to try these remedies.

I started the raisins and gin beefeaters 7 weeks ago. I use to take Advil 3 to 4 times per week. Since I started the raisins and gin, I haven't had to take Advil for the last 5 weeks. I had my doubts, but not anymore. It works.

Do the gin and raisins need to be refrigerated?

I am concerned about the sulphites in golden raisins that JWA mentioned. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, though it is much improved and I lead a fairly normal life now. I usually feel ok if I drink a glass or two of wine without sulphites, but less well the next day when the wine has sulphites. So your comment raised some concerns for me. Has anyone else with an apparent sensitivity to sulphites noticed a bad reaction with the golden raisins & gin?

I am a middle age dentist with arthritic thumbs. Doctor says that I will be calling him back for surgery when my pain level hits a 10. I cannot afford to close my business for 3 months for recuperation... my raisins have been soaking a day now and I am anxious to try this remedy! I sure hope that all of you are right! ;-)

At what time of day are the raisins supposed to be taken?

People's Pharmacy response: any time. Some people put them in breakfast oatmeal; others eat them at bedtime.

I wonder how many folks that are finding this remedy helpful use organic raisins.
Will be making a jar, using organic and Sapphire Gin to see if it is only the sulfur.

Interesting about the juniper berries... I have a jar of those and often add them to soups and stews, game meats, beef and pork, just because they give a flavor that tastes good.

Finally, someone who has also obtained correct information on gin. All one needs to do is google it. I did, and here is a copy of the most pertinent part of what I read:
"Gin and its Lowlands cousin Genever (Jenever in Belgium) are white spirits that are flavored with juniper berries and so-called botanicals (a varied assortment of herbs and spices). The spirit base of Gin is primarily grain (usually wheat or rye), which results in a light-bodied spirit.

Genever is made primarily from "malt wine" (a mixture of malted barley, wheat, corn, and rye), which produces a fuller-bodied spirit similar to raw malt whisky. A small number of genevers in Holland and Belgium are distilled directly from fermented juniper berries, producing a particularly intensely flavored spirit.

The chief flavoring agent in both Gin and Genever is the highly aromatic blue-green berry of the juniper, a low-slung evergreen bush (genus Juniperus) that is commercially grown in northern Italy, Croatia, the United States and Canada."

So you can see that most gin is not MADE from juniper berries; it may be FLAVORED with juniper berries. You need to google the brand name of the gin you are interested in or go read the label in the liquor store. I currently use Gilbey's London Dry Gin ("Distilled from 100% grain neutral spirits") and NO mention even of juniper berries, but it works for me. I do what E.D. does: I pour the gin over the raisins in a jar to cover the raisins by 1/2", put the lid on and a week later I start eating them. I always have another bottle ready for when the current one is finished. I like the sweet liqueur taste and don't mind the alcohol.

I have been using raisins soaking in gin for years. I have tried both golden and regular raisins. The golden look better, and I found the same results from either ones. I have never let the gin evaporate before eating. They just puff up and I take a teaspoon(holds a few more than 9) in the AM right out of the mason jar I keep on my kitchen counter. When the raisins are all gone, I enjoy sipping on the remaining flavored gin in the evening watching tv. Yum Yum

I've recently been diagnosed with RA and was battling with swollen knee and swollen ankles for months. I do not like medication. My mom told me about gin soaked raisins from an article she read in a foreign paper. I've been eating the raisins and drinking the liquor and it does works. I was told to soak the raisins for 24 hours in a sealed jar. A week is too long to wait in my opinion.

My Aunt is now 97 and she used this remedy throughout her life. She is alert, full of energy and does not take regular medicines. She would do the Charleston Dance at family gatherings. She has led a very healthy life!

For my neighbor's birthday, I set her up with the remedy and now my husband and I prepared our first batch this week.

I believe the reason for "golden" raisins is that those non-red grapes are dried with a small amount of sulphite...that in combination with the juniper berries which have been distilled in/with the ingredients to make gin is what is the chemical combination to cause the reduction in inflammation or reduction of fluid that causes the inflammation and some of the pain. Not all gins are made with juniper berries so that is important to remember.... AND it is not necessary to let the alcohol evaporate.

Keep the golden raisins in a glass container with a lid that does not contain metal. Soak them for about 2 weeks before taking your first daily dose. Take that liquid that is left over when that jar is empty of raisins and use it for the next batch. It works for most all people if prepared properly. However, it is also known that some people have to up their daily does to 2 or 3 spoons of raisins a day as your arthritis progresses.

Here in the Philippines there's a midnight radio program that informs about remedies such as this but with different ingredients. Gin is substituted with "lambanog" or any "hard drink" made from grapes like whiskey. I've been doing this for years now with good results. I prefer red wine form Spain. I am 69 years old male and taking no medication. I still drink (whiskey) occasionally.

Yes, this is what I do. I never heard you were suppose to let the raisins dry out after soaking! I still have some that I put in a jar 3 years ago and its still perfect.

Thank you so much for the heads up on this! Good to know.

Yes, you are very correct. When I saw this remedy spoken on TV years ago by a Physician, he stated there is a reason the Golden raisins are used and not the sun dried. Your statement IS the reason and I'm glad you point it out.

Golden raisins (White) are rich in the compounds resveratrol, catechins, potassium and vitamin C. Both resveratrol and catechins are antioxidant compounds, which also has anti-inflammatory activity.

Gin made specifically from Juniper berries contains anti-inflammatory compounds.

Since arthritis is inflammation of the joints and both of these products contain anti-inflammatory compounds could be the reason they help.

My husband tried to help and bought me Fleischmann's Extra Dry Gin to soak my raisins in. It doesn't say anything on the label about Juniper berries - it says "Distilled from Grain". Will that work at all?

I started this procedure with little information to go on. What I have evolved into doing is I have a small jar that contained marmalade. I put in about 1/2 a jar of golden raisins and enough gin to cover them about an inch.

Not knowing any better, started eating seven each morning and evening. As the raisins absorb the gin, they swell up and these are the ones I eat. When they get down about half from where they started, I refill with golden raisins and again gin over them by about an inch. I have noticed a lessening of my back pain and in addition I enjoy the delicious taste as I consume my ration of raisins.

There has been question among a few of us who have been doing this only recently. Has anyone experience itching?

My late Mother had congestive heart failure and took fluid medicines. She would comment that when the fluid began to leave here body she tended to itch.

Since I have started this remedy all of my joints starting with elbows then ankles and then shoulders. Seems to me that some fluid has gone out of my elbows.

After taking X rays, MRI and other test, my doctors made arrangement for me
to be operated on, in a hospital for removal of build up of calcium, through my throat, to ease pains in my right arm and upper neck. The procedure would be incisions from the front and back and scraping calcium away.

Reading an article about raisin and gin, I tried this before going for this operation and sure by taking this for about 4 days my pain just was gone. First I told my Chiropractor, he laughed, later I told my doctor to cancel the operation, he asked why and I told him I found a cure, he was skeptical about it as well.

My Chiropractor did some research and finally told me that he believed in it, Since he has told this to a few patience with the same symptoms and they seemed to be relieved of the same pain. I don't know if gin is the major ingredient, since it is made from Juniper berries, of which certain kinds are poison, but believe me, try this cure it works.
Heiko L., Northport, NY

Juniper berry's are the main ingredient and are not poisonous at all. Old timers in my tumbling weed country used to toss a few in their stew for extra flavor. Not all gin is made with REAL Juniper berry's so make sure you find one that lists it in the ingredients. Its been used as an herb and for medicinal properties for eons.

The golden raisins have been treated with sulfur dioxide, to prevent them from darkening. Many dried fruits are given the SO2 treatment for the same reason. Dried apricots, apples, pears, etc. all turn brown over time when exposed to oxygen. It's a very slow-motion version of the same reaction that occurs when you brown things in a pan: sugars and amino acids react with oxygen and turn dark.

Its the combination of sulfur dioxide and the Juniper berries that help relieve pain.
PS, the alcohol is supposed to be evaporated before use so the jokes that its the alcohol doing it is uncalled for.

I do wish we could find a list of what Gins do and don't have juniper berries used in the processing of the Gin. Not all Gin have an ingredient list nor mention what is used in the making of the Gin. If only we knew at least 1 or 2 brands that DID use the juniper berries.

do you have to cover the raisins with cheesecloth?

Golden raisins are used because of the sulfite used to "bleach" the white/green grapes. If/when white/green grapes are "bleached" without using the sulfite they turn gray and are unappealing....therefore, the driers use sulfite....makes them more appealing for purchase and eating. The combination of the sulfite in the golden raisins and the juniper berries of the gin chemically act to reduce inflammation and fluid at the joints. This combination was used scores of years ago to assist people with congestive heart failure lower their swelling/edema.

It is VERY important to use a quality gin that states on the bottle it has been distilled with juniper berries or extract of. The action will not work properly without the juniper berry action from the gin.

Put the golden raisins in a jar. Cover them with the gin. Let sit in your pantry at least 4 weeks before using for best results. Keep covered with a lid that does not have a metal lining. Always keep a batch ahead in the pantry. After you begin to take the soaked raisins, you then may have to wait about 2 weeks to have a full effect. But after that, the spoonful must be taken habitually....daily. I have never seen an explanation or understood why there is a need to let the alcohol evaporate. No need in my experience. If you do not feel a reduction in discomfort, try taking 1 spoonful in the AM and 1 at night.

May 6, 2013. I am a 68 year old female with sore knee joints / tendons. I just put my Sunmaid Golden Raisens in a canning jar and filled it to 1" over the raisins with Gilbeys London Dry Gin. Here in Minnesota it is $10.79 for a liter of Gilbeys. I covered the jar with a plastic cap from a Kraft Miracle Whip jar, it fit perfectly. My knees joints are sore and swollen and my tendons are very sore. I have trouble getting up from a kneeling position. I am looking forward with anticipation to trying this recipe. I will keep you posted on the progress.

On another note, I have been using 1-2 bars Ivory soap under my bottom sheet on the bed and no leg cramps/ Charley horse in 3 years. I t works! Also a friend who has gout has been using 1 tb. of Knudsens black cherry juice concentrate every day and hasn't had a gout attack in 2 1/2 years. These are amazing cures. I just ordered your book on home remedies. Thank you!


SMA I hope the Gin you have is made from real Juniper berries. Not all of it is. If it is, you will see it on the ingredients list on the label.
Blessings and God Bless.

I am going to try this. I have taken Yucca capsules for years and have little pain and I would like to stay that way. I was told 25 years ago that Yucca powder was put in horse feed when they no longer were racing as well as they did before. It seemed to work on both tendons and joints.

I can sure tell when I run out because after three weeks the pain returns. With Yucca it has again stopped. I am 74 and walk and pick up trash every day. I am very interested in remaining drug free.

I don't think whiskey is made from grapes, but I think brandy is. Good lucky to you.

Many of my family members have been using this formula for many years and it really works. Fill a mason jar with dark raisins and pour whiskey to cover the raisins. Tightly cover jar. Leave for about two weeks or until raisins swell up. Every morning sip one teaspoonful of juice(whiskey). It is the iron in the raisins mixed with the whiskey that alleviates the pain. When whiskey is gone, you may eat the raisins but the juice relieves the pain. Do not use same raisins to make another jar!

I have gout pain and all doctors and websites clearly state No Alcohol. Soaked in Gin?

I'm considering using making and using this remedy. What were you results regarding the sulfur?

My mother got the same results with raisins and rum. For whatever reason, it works.

I have tried this for about a month now - - my knees are no better than they were - - maybe it works for some it did nothing for me.

The pain in my back was getting stronger and I had trouble walking, sitting, just living. A friend told me about this mixture. I don't drink but love raisins. Since using the raisin gin mixture I haven't used any back pain pills, extra strength Tylenol, Advil or anything else. I am so thankful for the relief. I'm 72yrs old and wasn't looking forward to more pain.

I am diabetic and taking medicine but I am also suffering from SPINE PAIN L4 L5 S1 pain in right leg on bottom(kuff) above knee feet and sometimes on right side of hip. Doctors advised an opertion for which I am not ready Pl let me know can I take Raisin soaked in gin? Gin which brand and how many days I should soaked? Looking for your comments Thanks B R ARORA

If you have a computer go to the google web page and ask for a list of gins that have juniper berries in them to flavor them.

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.