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.”

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  1. Windjammer
    Sussex. England

    Suffering from steadily worsening arthritis over the years I have been most interested in your contributor’s comments and am anxious to start the gin and raisin “solution” as soon as I can.

    However, while most of us query the type of gin used with the raisins, my own question relates to the GOLDEN RAISIN. The smaller Golden sultana is readily available over here and is often mistakenly labelled golden raisin, which it isn’t!

    Unfortunately the true golden raisin seems to be quite unobtainable so my questions are;-
    Can sultanas be used as a substitute for raisins and if so in what quantity ?
    Would it be possible to obtain from the U.S reasonably small quantities of REAL golden raisins?

    Any advice would be most appreciated.

    • The People's Pharmacy

      It’s our understanding that the sultana raisins found in the UK and in Australia are either very close to the golden raisins found in America, or the same. A different drying and treating process is what gives these raisins their golden color. These links may prove enlightening:

      This is a home remedy (your results may vary), and people try their own variations all the time. Why not try using some of your UK sultanas? If you do, please let us know if this remedy works for you.

  2. Judith
    kissimmee fl

    I tried the gin and raisin thing and it didn’t work but I will try again using Beefeaters. No one mentioned that to me in the past. Hope they sell that in small amounts b/c not only do I not like to drink, I hate gin!

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