Q. I recently obtained your pamphlet about Alternate Treatments for Arthritis. Since then I have used the gin-soaked raisin remedy daily. It’s difficult for me to believe, but I do seem better. I no longer suffer leg pain at all.
The added joy: no upset stomach. What a relief that is. I have been using Celebrex for over two years and before that took Voltaren (diclofenac) for years as well as other NSAIDs. They all gave me stomach pain.
I do have a question for you. Should I put a handful of golden raisins in a dish, pour gin over them and let it evaporate and use them until they are gone or would be it better to prepare the raisins daily? I covered the dish with plastic wrap and wonder if that is the way to prepare them.
Thank you for your many hints that have been so helpful over the years.
PS I am a nurse and have worked in public health and recognize the value of herbal remedies. Many M.D.s and D.O.s that I know appreciate them too.

A. You do not have to make them fresh daily. In fact that would probably defeat the purpose as there would still be gin present.
Most people put the raisins in a shallow dish, pour in the gin just high enough to barely cover the golden raisins. Cover with a towel to allow for evaporation of the alcohol. Plastic wrap won’t facilitate evaporation, so that is not such a good idea.
After about a week the gin will have evaporated and the raisins will be moist and plump. You can then store them in a glass jar with a lid and eat 9 raisins daily.
Here are some stories from readers about their experience with the gin-raisin remedy:

“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.”

“Last fall I suddenly began having arthritis pains in my knees. It was painful and hard to walk up and down stairs. I tried the gin soaked raisins, giving them a 99% chance that they wouldn\’t work. I was amazed and thrilled that after one week I could feel a difference and now after about one and a half months since I started, the improvement is terrific! I am thrilled and hope it keeps up. I am also wondering if there is a difference in the effectiveness between cheap gin and more expensive gin? Anyway thank you so much for the information!” Donna

“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/ankles. My problem was serious because I have a gardening business and MUST walk, shovel, rake, move around on uneven ground many times a week. I was in such pain. I am 60 and must keep doing hard physical work. It is my only source of income. Not even a couple of Ibuprophen could really help. Taking 1,000 mg of omega 3 and a tumeric capsule every day did help but what really turned the condition around was the raisins. I share these wonderful tips with many friends. This is an e-mail I got back last week from a friend who is around 60:
“Dearest sister Cindy,
Thank you for email about the gin raisins and the soap in the bed. We made some gin soaked raisins and have been eating them for about a week and they are making us not have pain in our bed. We eat them just before going to bed. I have only had three cramps in my thigh and my calf and the soap stopped them real fast. I have been suffering from the horrible cramps in my thigh for several years and I can’t believe how they affect me. I really am so glad to have the raisins and the soap. We gave my husband’s mother some raisins and she said they made her feel like when she was young. Thank you dear heart. Take care of yourself. Love, Elaine
“I also find the mustard to stop muscle cramps excellent. It has taken the scare out of feeling a cramp in my feet coming on. I told a friend about it who was VERY skeptical. She said it stopped her cramps almost the minute it touched her tongue.
“I have had 3 friends write back that the soap under the sheet has stopped their RLS issues. The delight I feel in being able to help with something so harmless, inexpensive and easy to use is a huge reward for the effort to process the information from your newsletter. I also have your book. ~ Thank you very much, Cindy “


We are always delighted to learn than inexpensive home remedies are helpful. We recognize that not everyone gets such relief, but we have collected enough stories over the last three decades to believe that many folks are helped. We think that it is advisable to use mid-priced gin made with real juniper berries. Don’t buy the el-cheapo brand nor the most expensive. And please let us know how you make out. We need to know if this remedy does or does not work for you.
For those who would like more information about the “Raisin Remedy,” we offer our guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis. It has a bunch for FAQs including:


• How long does it take for the gin to evaporate?
• Once the raisins are ready, should they be refrigerated?
• How much alcohol is in the raisins?
• Does it matter what type of gin?
• Can you use dark raisins?
• Are there any side effects?
• Will I flunk a Breathalyzer test after eating raisins?

For anyone who would like to learn more about the other home remedies mentioned by a reader above and hundreds more, we offer our various book. Here is a link to the People’s Pharmacy Store.

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  1. CH

    Since I only eat raisins in some other food as I don’t particularly like them, I would be interested if other kinds of dried fruit work. Might one assume it might be “dried” as in dried fruit that make fewer nightly bathroom visits less necessary?

  2. MJL

    After making the recipe, does it have to be stored in the refrigerator?

  3. elb

    I would like to know about the mustard and soap in the bed for leg cramps. I have been doing the drunken raisins for one week and I can tell the difference in my hips. Not as much pain.

  4. Mickey

    Tangeray gin, Bombay Saphife give are the 2 top gins to use. Hope this helps

  5. Don

    What brand of gin has juniper berries on it? I am using Smirnoff extra dry with the raisins. I was told gin with juniper berry’s is a better alternative and more beneficial as junipers are also a natural inflammatory. What brand has junipers?

  6. mvrice

    Just heard about raisins and gin so am trying it. Heard about this a long time ago and a friend said her cousin has not more pain. I am in the process of soaking them now. Am anxious to try.

  7. lt

    9 gin-soaked raisins have about 60 calories, not 1000!
    As to the calories in gin-soaked raisins, here’s the math. Per Sunmaid, their snack-size golden raisins have 90 calories for 28 grams, and w/each raisin averaging to about 1.5 grams, that works out to about 5 calories per raisin.
    A 15.5 oz box or bag of raisins is 2.5 cups according to the box and a 1/4 cup of raisins has 75 raisins, so the box has about 750 raisins, or 3750 calories. (750 raisins * 5 calories = 3750)
    A pint of gin is about 1168 calories even after the alcohol evaporates off.
    3750 + 1168 = 4918 calories in 750 raisins. That’s 6.6 calories per gin-soaked raisin, only 59 calories in 9 gin-soaked raisins. Or thereabouts :). Not 1000. I’m making my batch this weekend – it will be a fun, harmless experiment.

  8. CJ

    My husband of 92 years old has been having much pain in his knee and leg, and he suffers much. He is always doing some work like now he is building a porch and stairs, and really want to help him. Thanks so for sharing about this. Will surely try this.

  9. Seriously?

    Diana I am overweight too. Don’t eat gin-soaked raisins. Don’t waste calories on junk. All we really need to do to feel batter is AVOID foods that cause inflammation – refined sugars, refined wheat, vegetable oil, artificial sweeteners, commercially raised meat. When you maintain a healthy gut/intestinal tract, you will feel better & look better!

  10. Seriously?

    The science behind this is not the gin/raisins – it’s eating FERMENTED foods to lower inflammation thereby reducing aches, pains & joint stiffness. Daily consumption of any fermented food may yield the same result.

  11. Seriously?

    Gin-soaked raisins are no better for an alcoholic than medical marijuana is for a chronic burnout.

  12. C mH

    Do the raisins need to be refrigerated after they are soaked in the gin for a week? How should you store them? In a tight container, or zip lock bag?

  13. DIANA M.

    I read one bit on the internet which said 9 gin soaked raisins have over 1,000 calories. Is this true??? I’m already overweight and worried that the cure may produce an “even greater problem.” I already bought the raisins and plan to try it, but this calorie issue is substantial. Help!

  14. DG

    Would this work with other dried/wrinkled fruits- cranberries, blue berries,appricots, ? cran-raisins. — Any known Meds ( RX or OTC) the ‘Drnken Raisins’ do Not agree with? Is there a Better Time of day to consume your Raisins for *Max. Benefit* & Decrease a Chance of a Med/OTC interaction? Toss in any Other Info you Fill Appropriate. Thanks, DG

  15. cathy

    if you are on chemo drugs (methatrexate) for rheumatoid arthritis can I still take gin soaked raisins… i.e. I’m not meant to have too much alcohol. …would gin soaked raisins be highly alcoholic and dangerous? Am desperate to find some relief from pain.

  16. sheila

    would it be ok to give to dogs with arthritis?
    NO! NO! NO!
    Dogs can be poisoned by raisins.

  17. s.h.

    For Judi H.
    Here is the recipe I have:
    1 lb. golden raisins
    gin (approx. 1 pt.)
    glass bowl, Pyrex is what to use.
    glass jar w/lid
    Spread the raisins evenly on the bottom of glass bowl & pour gin over them to completely cover. Let them stay that way until all the gin is absorbed. It may take 5 to 7 days. Transfer to the jar, put the lid on & keep it closed unless getting 9 raisins out. Eat only that number a day and no more or less.

  18. Judi H.

    I would like to have the exact recipe or instructions for the gin soaked raisins. Thank you!

  19. Alph

    Hi, I must share with you, Meredith, our experience with RA in my 1 year old granddaugther. Her parents also resisted going the harsh med route and found an MD that used alternative methods and diet and after less than 2 years, all labs show no more RA. She is living a happy normal lifestyle without pain or joint problems. The diet, which is essential, is called GAPS: Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBRide wrote the book. Lots of info online about it. Dr. Thomas Cowan MD is the doctor who worked with them, using that diet and other medical treatments to move her through this devastating illness. Best wishes for results to you and your family. Alph

  20. Meredith

    I have a 2 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid (or Ideopathic) Arthritis and I am trying anything I can to avoid the harsh meds that are typically used to treat her condition (NSAIDS being some of the milder ones, actually). I’m guessing that gin soaked raisins are not a suitable thing to try for a toddler, but thought it would be worth asking. I’m not sure how much alcohol would be absorbed, etc. Thanks for any answers! Of course, I will be checking with her doctor as well.

  21. maggie

    I’m only 31 but I have health issues as if I was 65. I’ve bee a diabetic for about 8 years now. I’ve been a hard worker since I was able to walk, so standing on my feet for early years have also given me a side of arthritis at an early age. I’ve looked at many things to try so I guess the gin and raisins I’ll try and cross my finger and hope they wont get stuck.

  22. SGM

    Do you store the gin raisins in the refrigerator after the week???

  23. mary m.

    does it have to be golden raisins?

  24. Barbara Eborall

    I have used golden raisins soaked in gin as recommended to me by a nurse who had Fibromyalgia as I have. I have used a teaspoon a day for over 15 years and I have gone from major muscle pain to no longer feeling my body unless I get hugly stressed and have a flare up. But I recover in a day.
    I am a support/contact person for The CFIDS Association of America based in No. Carolina and I am in Oregon. I have recommended this remedy for FM, Arthritis and a lady with a serious back condition that required her to sleep in a recliner not a bed. After 3 days on the raisins, she sleps in her bed and slept 8 hours not getting up to take any pain meds. This is a safe alternative to addictive pain meds and it WORKS.
    The American Arthritis Association recognizes how the raisins and gin cut pain and inflamation as I called the Portland office. They were reluctant to give “medical advice” so I just said a lady called and wanted to know if she could substitute vodka as she thought she was allergic to gin and the woman at the Arthritis Association quickly responded “Oh NO, it has to be gin!”. There you have it. An admission that gin and raisins really work. And after they start working, you can go for DAYS without taking them as they do NOT work like an aspirin where you need to take them every 4 hours or you hurt again. Once they are in your system, they work, you can go away for a week and not bring them with you, just restart when back home.
    I know all this because I and my 91 year old mother have taken these for 15+ years. She takes them for arthritis and now so do I as I have that, too, but the raisins keep right on working. If you have doubts, ask ANY liquor store about the people who come in to buy the gin for this exact reason. This is NOT a scam or trick. Does Paul Harvey lie (since deceased)? No, he doesn’t. You can also check this out on http://www.snopes.com. They call it “undetermined” as scientifically they can not, beyond a doubt prove it, but they also say it is the juniper berries.
    My e-mail address may be used if this is added to your comment list. Many people deserve to be helped by this remedy that works!

  25. MT

    Here is an alternative recommendation for those who cannot tolerate the gin raisins… two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day. I heard about this from a customer of mine whose grandfather was a piano player on river boats on the Mississippi. He developed arthritis in his hands and wrists and could not play unless he used apple cider vinegar daily.
    I also have arthritis in my wrists. I started taking the vinegar with apple juice every morning and I am pain free as long as I continue with the vinegar treatment. My wife, who was having pain in her hips, started taking it daily (2 tbls. in water with a little honey) and the pain has disappeared. I have shared this remedy with several other friends who have had good success. Vinegar may not be as tasty as the raisins but you may want to try it as an alternative.

  26. gmisltr

    if the gin evaporates, why is it a no no for alcoholics?

  27. daisychain62

    NO! You definitely would be giving alcohol to someone who can not have it even in trace amounts.

  28. FAWS

    So many people have reported good results using the gin-soaked raisin remedy that I wonder what other ailments it may help. Can it do anything for low back pain, leg cramps, pulled muscles, soreness from too much manual labor/heavy lifting, etc.?

  29. mm

    Is the gin/raisin recipe safe for alcoholics?

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