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Doctor Disapproves of Raisin Remedy

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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."

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"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!"

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"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."

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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.

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37 Comments

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GIN AND RAISINS

I HATE TO DISAPPOINT YOUR DOCTOR, BUT MY FRIEND HAD ARTHRITIS FOR YEARS UNTIL SOMEONE TOLD HER ABOUT
THE GIN MIXER. SHE USED A CUP OF GIN ADDING RAISINS TO THE TOP OF THE CUP AND REFRIGERATED UNTIL THE
NEXT DAY. SHE WOULD USE ONE TEA SPOON OF SOAKED RAISIN DAILY AND THE ARTHRITIS WENT AWAY. I HAVE
KNOWN HER FOR MANY YEARS IN REAL ESTATE.

FACTS ARE FACTS. I WILL SAY IT WORKS FOR SOME AND NOT FOR OTHER. AS LONG YOU DON'T ABUSE THE CONSUMP-
TION. YOU ARE AN ADULT AND ACT LIKE ONE. DON'T BLAME THE SYSTEM. YOU TRY SLOWLY AND YOU WILL FIND
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

So many home remedies work for a short time, then you are back with the misery. I think it is the hope, the wild hope, that it helps. IF doctor's methods do not work, why NOT try home remedies. That was not a question. What else is there to do.

Some of the doctors coming out of medical schools need to have their heads examined. Haughty professionals with know-it-all attitudes have been a large problem in the medical field for quite some time. They need to revert to common sense....the really smart ones already do this.

Wait! I thought raisins used for arthritis were soaked in sloe gin (a liqueur made with sloe berries) but never heard anything about evaporation (have to say these raisins are delicious enough to put on ice cream).

Now it sounds like the remedy soaks raisins in regular gin and then the gin is evaporated. Are there multiple remedies, and is one more effective?

Maybe the reason doctors don't like this remedy is they don't get a fee for a office visit and maybe a kick back from the drug industry.

I know I have been on this for over a year now and I feel it is working great for me. A retired friend told me about this and he has been useing raisins daily for meany years.

He had to leave home for an emergency in North Carolina and forgot to take the raisins with him and was fine for three days. Then he had to go to the Drug store to get some pain meds until he got back home (trip was about 6 days). When he returned and got back on the raisins, thing started to get better in about three days.

I have about 6 family members also on Gin soaked Raisins. We all feel it works...

Well, who isn't surprised at this answer. Specialists, pharmaceutical medications - yes sometimes necessary, but not the end-all for everyone. Sure people should have a physician and maybe a specialist (what physician is not a
specialist these days). My husband found out he has arthritis and one day may need surgery. Thankfully, we've spoken to a few doctors for their opinions. The first wanted him to immediately have knee replacement; we went for
a second opinion. Now we know there are alternatives to try before going through this type of procedure. And thankfully, this last well-known knee specialist does not agree that my husband should be on pain prescriptions every day of his life (others told him this was the one thing he might have to live with) and that surgery is the very last resort.

Our raisins are soaking in the gin and he will start them this weekend! What have you got to lose in trying out all the options - maybe the pain and stiffness.

Hope to update on his progress in the future.

These golden raisins are a delicious treat and are beneficial for me. Some weeks, especially when very cold and damp, they take the edge, otherwise they are a GodSend for me.

I have a shoulder that no longer rotates within the socket due to arthritis (MRI shows this). I do regular exercises and get acupuncture monthly. These two things kept me pain free while awake. The gin soaked raisins took care of the night pain. I am not surprised at doctors who dislike home remedies. They are not getting money from an office visit.

Instead of gin, one of your articles in local Buffalo News suggested using apple vinegar/honey(2 parts vinegar, one honey). Seems to work the same, just as effective.

Bravo People's Pharmacy!!! Considering my on-going battle with doctors trying to convince me to take medication with possible disasterous side effect... medication that may or may not help my problem...I am offended by the doctor's scolding about rum soaked raisins.

My first batch was ready for eating this morning. They are delicious. I hope they will help, but if not, I will still enjoy them without fear of harming my body.

His (the doctor's) indignation is inappropriate. He does a disservice to all of us searching for relief by dismissing the this potential help.

Thank you for putting these doctors in their place! Why the heck WOULDN'T someone try gin-soaked raisins before trying a prescription medication that might have side effects. Just proves the God-complex is alive and well among many (not all) physicians.

The very reason I enjoy this podcast and website so much is that you look outside the box for what will provide optimum health. Please continue to be brave and pursue this line of work.

About a year ago I began experiencing pain and stiffness in my knees. I went to my physician and got a few samples of Voltaren gel. Before I used it I decided to try the gin soaked raisins. I was very skeptical and did not expect them to work.

I was amazed when after just a week, I began experiencing relief! I haven't use the Voltaren and am glad because of the side effects it can cause.

I do still experience stiffness but not the pain. I am very happy to live with some stiffness and quite pleased that I am not taking any medications. It amazes me that physicians are so unwilling to look at alternative therapies.

Just one more doctor who proves his ignorance by putting all his faith in allopathic medicine. Doctors like him need to wake up and take a look around the world and see that their close-minded solutions are one of the primary reasons that the U.S. is not even in the Top 20 Healthiest Countries list! Natural remedies all over the world work with or without the approval of allopathic "experts" like this one.

What these doctors practice should really be called "alternative" because the solutions they offer have only been around for 150 years at the most versus the many other natural remedies that have been around for thousands of years.

The reader wrote: "People with arthritis need the care of a competent rheumatologist who can prescribe appropriate medications. Home remedies have no place in rational therapy."

Rheumatologists do not know the cause of any condition they treat except gout. How could any of the therapies they use really be considered rational?

I would ask this group of skeptic doctor to remember the Hippocratic Oath. Here is the specific part taken from Wikipedia "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone." We know medicines for arthritis can cause harm and some have even been taken off the market. We also know placebos work about 30% of the time.

First the gin soaked raisins do no harm and do not cost much. If they give the patient relief then so much the better, if they give no relief then I do not believe they will cause MORE pain and the patient will seek other relief in a couple weeks. And the gin has evaporated and definitely will do less harm than it would to an arthritic alcoholic to just drink the gin.

I have found my doctors to be much more receptive to home remedies than they were a decade ago. Maybe they just got tired of me quoting THE PEOPLES PHARMACY. My cardiologist admits to listening when he can.

This uninformed person who is involved with The Arthritis Foundation stated "Home remedies have no place in rational therapy." I have not found medical remedies to always be "rational" and they often harm more than they help.

I had a lot of pain and stiffness until I started taking turmeric twice a day, about 1-1/2 teas. and I also take the gin soaked raisins. Of course I could take dangerous prescription pain pills that could cause bad side effects such as bleeding and heart damage and the pain pills would not help anyway. So the choice is up to the patient.

I prefer to be pain free with home remedies, and save money also, rather than suffer and face dangerous side effects of pharmaceuticals that aren't all that useful anyway.

Do the raisins have to be golden?

No, the doctor wants you to spend the money to go to an appointment with him and he'll throw a not inexpensive prescription drug at you that'll cause side effects that he'll fix with another not inexpensive prescription, which will cause even more side effects, and on and on.

My parents were physicians, and I followed in a couple of biological sciences. My father poo-pooed the entire concept of acupuncture. Then he went to China with a delegation from WHO and came home amazed that he's seen BOTH open heart surgery and brain surgery done with acupuncture, though what amazed him more than anything was when a 'Bicycle Doctor' did a successful appendectomy in a village his bus had stopped in.

Who would believe that sticking needles into 'special' places would allow soft tissue surgery -- or bone-surgery - ??? Until my father saw it, he could not and would not, believe it. My mother simply said: Just because you can't see it or explain it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist or doesn't work. I always leaned toward my Mothers thought process. There are a million or more reasons why something works for awhile and not forever -- When you have various points of views, I was always taught that you must be able to argue each point of view with the same conviction - or you simply don't know what you are talking about.

Ignorance is choosing to not learn the various points of view -- so ignorance occurs AFTER the fact, not before. Not knowing what you are talking about happens all the time. Even I will get a question in lecture that I had not anticipated, and suddenly I find that **I** don't know what I'm talking about -- and we all have a good laugh at that -- but ignorance is when I don't leave Lecture and start doing MY home work! Or I'll face being ignorant in the next class meeting if I didn't find out enough to give a convincing argument on both sides of an issue. - it is a FAR more difficult concept than one can imagine if you are on the cutting edge or even BEYOND the edge of 'known' science.

Gin soaked raisins are a remarkable treatment for my arthritis pain. Doctor confirmed arthritis pain in hip and leg using x rays. Pain was so bad that I needed one crutch to be used to get up from bed and I am 59 years old. I thought at this rate that I would be a wheel chair in the next 6 months.

After eliminating 95% of aspartame in my diet, and using gin soaked raisins I am essentially pain free. I haven't felt this good in about 10 years.

John

Of course doctors would not like the remedy.

I understand if you have a drinking problem, this would not be a good choice.

As I hate Gin.. I went the other route.

Grape Juice and Pectin... as have my sister and friend... which I discussed with Joe & Terry on phone call.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO TAKE A DRUG WHEN YOU CAN TAKE AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE THAT WORKS, BUT DOCTORS AND DRUG COMPANIES DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT.

I am 68 yrs old, getting the hip arthritis symptoms, cholesterol border line, blood pressure today 127/63. Had a LIFE LINE SCREENING done in June 2011.. worsed said, overweight.. and that was after I lost 20 lbs.

I take an adult multi vitamin, 2 calcium, 2 omega 3, 1 regular aspirin, vitamin D daily.

I HATE THE DOCTOR GIVING ME A SCRIPT. DO NOT WANT TO TAKE AND ONLY TAKE WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, AS YOU CAN NEVER GET OFF THEM.. IT IS LIKE AN ADDICTION. PROBABLY WORST WITH SIDE AFFECTS.

Take the dang gin and raisins if it helps, if not take try the grape juice and pectin. These doctors have not had that kind of pain and have no clue how you feel.

possible the real reason why it works is because gin is make with juniper berries... long time used for arthritis...??

I wish it relieved RLS. And don't say soap does, because for me it did not. The gin soaked raisins sounds better.

Sounds like a doctor I would not want to see- and I'm a medical professional. I am always stunned at medical people who choose not to believe people when they tell them what feels better... Scarey!!

Good for you for responding so vigorously. You speak for all of us. Of course, anyone with arthritis has sought help from doctors. And who knows which is better, or more damaging - chemicals from prescriptions or raison remedy. I use the grape-juice-certo that works well.

Is there any consensus on whether gin-soaked raisins are more effective for rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: NO CONSENSUS. WE HAVE HEARD FROM PEOPLE WITH BOTH WHO HAVE GOTTEN BENEFIT; WE'VE ALSO HEARD FROM PEOPLE WHO FIND THEY DON'T HELP.

I am 71. While growing up I heard that chiropractors were charlatans and the Oriental act of sticking needles in a person to cure them was at best a myth. Your point about the old wives tales such as chicken soup being now recognized is excellent. It appears that this 'doctor' should not be one. With a closed mind such as his he can only endanger his patients.

You are all right! The meds that doctors prescribe for patients with the pain of arthritis are far from problem-free. What's more, they don't work for everyone. Why not try the raisins? Inexpensive, limited side-effects (if any). What could this doc possibly be objecting to?

Can you say drug recall!!! There have been many and there have been many class action lawsuits along with the recalls. i have been an RN for 40years and I have seen first hand the damage from medications. why not FIRST suggest more natural foods to help patients and then move to medications if necessary!! It is because the pharmaceutical industry has such power in this country.

Do not get surprised by the sarcastic response you got at the meeting you attended.
Allopatic medicine is not open to alternative medicine yet and young physicians out of training as the young man you show in the picture only believe in what
they learn in their training years. Alternative medicine is alive and well and we
as consumers should try educate our personal Drs in the other treatment alternatives
available to manage our physical problems.

3 words to that doctor: SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. Obviously you are in the same club as my own Dr.: the society of tiny, closed, arrogant minds.

I worked for a doctor once and he said things like 'everything you tell a patient they take for truth because YOU are the doctor' and 'they (the patients) believe everything I say and I can say anything'..... It so turned me against their arrogance. But oh, when I need one, I am sure glad he is there.

True - those old wives, old Indians, old Asians, old Greeks, and descendants of old, ancient medicine that sustained populations for ages truly did know things about the uses of "natural," unscientifically tested remedies. Such potions and notions were precursors to what pompous neophytes to healing in western medicine call "proven" remedies.

If today's physicians replaced sarcasm with open-mindedness, the society would benefit from a global perspective on healing. Lord, please let the schools begin to teach young doctors just that. Because we are the patients of your future... and we insist upon it.

I had been having difficulty with my arthritic hip upon arising in the morning from bed and after engaging in housework. I tried the raisin-gin regimen. It's been about a week now and I am having no difficulty at all. The pain has gone, and I am very glad to have found People's Pharmacy and the people who comment on the site.

This doctor is so wrong in so many ways. I can't tell you how many "Doctor prescribed" remedies have been from the results of home remedies. Also how many doctors keep treating people over & over with different things because they don't work for some but will for others.

If I was told to eat tree bark to relieve my knee pain and I did and it worked then what's the problem?!? Doesn't matter if it is mind over matter or not. I am a big believer in mind over matter any way. I think we have it within ourselves to cure a lot of what is wrong...after all we play a big part sometimes in what makes us ill.

I think the Gin remedy will work with natural herbal/plant gin and not with synthetic gin.

Juniper berries in gin.

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