golden raisins and gin

Q. I have been using gin-soaked raisins for joint pain. However, the clerk at the store said that if I want benefits from gin-raisins, I must buy higher-quality, more expensive brands. I have been buying the lowest-price distilled gin. He said that I am wasting my money with the less expensive gin.
Does the price of the gin makes any difference in getting benefits from gin-soaked raisins–or does this clerk want to increase his profits?
A. The very cheapest gin uses juniper flavoring added to neutral grain alcohol. You want gin distilled with real juniper berries.
No one knows exactly why gin-soaked raisins may ease joint pain, but we think that juniper berries are an essential component of the remedy. One reader sent this comment:

“Gin traditionally was flavored with juniper berries, orris root, cardamom, and coriander. Gin was originally considered a medicine, a new way to deliver the benefits of juniper berries, which had been used for centuries as a remedy for arthritis and rheumatism.
“Modern gin manufacturers, particularly the cheaper brands, don’t flavor with any actual natural flavorings at all. So someone who simply soaks their raisins in the cheapest grocery store brand of gin is going to be missing out on the whole point of soaking the raisins in something–the anti-inflammatory benefits of juniper berries.”

If you are indeed buying distilled gin–not simply the cheapest gin in the liquor store–you probably are getting the benefit. Another reader made this suggestion:

“A ‘bottom shelf’ gin containing juniper berries is Gordon’s London Dry Gin – about $9-10 bucks for 750 ml here in the Pacific NW.

“From Wikipedia: ‘Gordon’s London Dry Gin was developed by Alexander Gordon, a Londoner of Scottish descent. He opened a distillery in the Southwark area in 1769, later moving in 1786 to Clerkenwell. The Special London Dry Gin he developed proved successful, and its recipe remains unchanged to this day. Triple-distilled, the gin contains juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, liquorice, orris root, orange and lemon peel.’

“I tried my gin-soaked raisins last night for the first time and woke up this morning feeling strange – ie without any pain. Gives fresh new meaning to the term ‘feeling no pain.'”

You can find detailed directions and FAQs on gin-soaked raisins and other home remedies for arthritis in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

Join Over 80,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Marcy

    Original London Tower distilled London dry gin is made in the USA and with Juniper berries! Very reasonable and actually tastes great, even thou I always disliked Gin.

  2. patricia wood
    Midland mi

    Why can’t you just add juniper berries to the cheaper gin?

  3. Raaj

    Hi Peoples Pharmacy,
    Gordon’s London Dry Gin is not available in my area.
    Can i use Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin ?
    else Can you please guide me any other Gin.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.