Q. I am very disappointed that you suggest gin-soaked raisins to relieve arthritis pain. I have served on the local Public Education Committee for the Arthritis Foundation. During one meeting someone mentioned this remedy.
A physician at the meeting said sarcastically, “Forget the raisins and just drink the gin. Neither will help, but the gin could make you forget your arthritis briefly.”
People with arthritis need the care of a competent rheumatologist who can prescribe appropriate medications. Home remedies have no place in rational therapy.
A. We would be horrified if someone drank gin (or any alcoholic beverage) to alleviate arthritis pain. The recipe calls for golden raisins soaked in gin which is then allowed to evaporate. When we had this remedy tested, the lab found a total of one drop of alcohol in nine raisins.
Home remedies are rarely tested in scientific studies, and we are not aware of any research supporting the use of gin-soaked raisins for arthritis. There are also no studies proving this remedy ineffective. To dismiss it without evidence seems prejudiced.
Many people have found this simple and inexpensive approach helpful.
“I suffered arthritis pain in lower back and hip joints for more than 15 years, with Dr’s prescriptions doing nothing for me. Tried golden raisins and gin and am living pain free again after soooo many years. What a God send.”
“I’m 40 years old and recently started playing competitive tennis. The wear and tear on my knees was causing a lot of problems, especially with my left knee. I was in a lot of pain, having to wear tape 24 hours a day, and having to see my chiropractor on a weekly basis. I started eating the gin soaked raisins I read about in your column and within two weeks I was pain free, no longer needed the tape, and was able to stop seeing the chiropractor. Thanks for the great tip!”
“As an active senior I was more than dismayed with increasing arthritis to the point of pain when I attempted simple activities. Aspirin and exercise helped a bit. I tried deleting the “reds” from my diet, (meat, tomatoes, eggplant) taking “guaranteed” OTC arthritis remedies (for which money was returned) and capsules with Boswellin/Turmeric/Bromelain mix.
“Some easing occurred. Then I tried the gin-soaked raisins and I am pain-free and flexible once more. Fantastic. I am so very grateful to you for your advice! My horses thank you, my grandkids thank you and my garden also thanks you.”
We know these kinds of anecdotes are not scientific. You can read many more stories on our website by putting raisins into the search engine. You can also find out answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) by downloading our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. There are lots more details about how to prepare the gin-raisin-remedy for yourself.
Finally, we cannot help but point out that compared to prescription arthritis drugs, the Raisin Remedy is much less likely to cause serious side effects. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can cause major damage to the digestive tract. In addition there is concern about higher blood pressure, heart attacks and the risk of kidney damage. There is even a new concern about kidney cancer and NSAIDs.
When scientists study home remedies like cranberry juice to prevent urinary infections or chicken soup to treat cold symptoms, they sometimes find that the old wives were right. Perhaps someday they will look at gin-soaked raisins as a reasonable arthritis remedy for some people. We know it won’t work for everyone, but for those it helps the raisin remedy is affordable and safer than most available medications.