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Juniper Berries for Joint Pain?

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Q. I keep reading in your column that gin-soaked raisins are good for arthritis because of the juniper flavoring in the gin. Why not dispense with the raisins and gin and just eat juniper berries?

A. No one knows why some people seem to benefit from the "raisin remedy." Speculation ranges from the sulfite preservative in golden raisins to the juniper flavoring of the gin. Be sure to buy gin that contains juniper berries rather than artificial flavoring.

We would discourage eating handfuls of juniper berries, though. There are dozens of species of juniper. Although some of the berries have anti-inflammatory activity (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Sept. 7, 2009), other species have berries that are toxic.

Anyone who would like to know more about the gin-raisin remedy will find details in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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5 Comments

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To "Juniper Berries": I have a suggestion - YOU eat the juniper berries, I will eat the gin-soaked raisins! (Using the Gordon's Gin containing juniper berries). Not only do they work, they also taste great!

Dear Graedons, can you comment at to powdered dried juniper berries, that you can purchase in a health food store? The gin soaked raisins are great, but does take time to make and soak before they are ready.

What are you thoughts of powered juniper berries in capsules, where the amount is standardized such as Solaray or Nature's Plus?

Thank You for all your great work!

I'm going to try the gin/raisin treatment. What ratio of gin and raisins? How much of the the mix is suggested?

Our 7 year old 173 pound English mastiff (not over weight) is getting gimpy from arthritis. Any thoughts on this remedy for dogs?

Use enough gin to cover the raisin. Let them soak for a few days and stir the gin into the raisins. I would check with the vet. I not sure if dog can have raisins.

I have a few drinks of gin with red wine I feel better, my knees plus I get anti oxidants of wine enjoy

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