Q. I suffered from tendinitis in my elbows and forearms for years. My doctor had tried several anti-inflammatory drugs and I had also followed his instructions for alternating hot and cold compresses. Nothing worked, and we were talking about surgery.

A relative told me about golden raisins soaked in gin for tendinitis. I was ready to try almost anything, so I followed his advice.

Within a few weeks, I no longer had pain. I continued taking a spoonful a day for a couple of years and then stopped because I started a low-carb diet. Soon the tendinitis returned. When I resumed the raisins daily, the pain went away and hasn’t returned.

A. We can’t explain how gin-soaked raisins relieve inflammation, but many readers have found them helpful for arthritis. Anyone who would like to know more about this and other remedies for sore joints may be interested in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. nancy
    Reply

    could you please tell me if it is o.k. to use berry flavored sloe gin with the raisins????? thanks so much.

  2. Linda
    Reply

    I have bad allergies to juniper trees. It causes headaches, sinus infections, all the wonderful symptoms of bad allergies. Will that effect me in that aspect?

  3. Eleanor
    Reply

    I had resisted this treatment for years because I hate the taste of gin, but when assured I couldn’t taste it, I tried it. For nine years I’ve battled some arthritis and stenosis in lower back, but the really painful hip and down the leg pain has been treated by every kind of doctor (and non-medical people) imaginable with little or no results.
    Perhaps it is in my head, but if it gets rid of the pain, that’s okay, too! But, only a few days after trying golden raisins soaked in gin I am not pain free, but it is tolerable and comes less frequently. I am truly amazed. It’s made a believer out of me! I just cover the golden raisins with gin (cheapest you can find) and let soak uncovered until gin is absorbed. Then store in tightly covered jar (not necessary to refrigerate) and dish out 9 per day! And when I think of all the money spent on MRI’s, doctors, etc., I cringe.

  4. Sandy C
    Reply

    I have slight arthritis in my hips and a degenerative disc in my lower back. The gin soaked raisins do not completely eliminate the pain, but I notice a definite difference. I have started taking them morning and evening and I do notice a real difference. My husband took them years ago for extremely severe (bone on bone) arthritis in the hips and felt no better. He has since had both hips replaced.

  5. Roger
    Reply

    Has anyone had any results with gin soaked raisins for their hips?

  6. Michelle
    Reply

    Why do you soak in gin or apple cider vinegar? Why not just eat the raisins without soaking in gin? What is the purpose of soaking?

  7. BG
    Reply

    Has anyone used apple cider instead of gin on the raisins?

  8. Carol R
    Reply

    I have a 13 yr. old grandson who has a case of tendonitis in his arm. Is he old enough to take the gin/raisin recipe? I still am not clear on how many pounds of raisins to one pint of gin. While they are soaking, are you to only cover with paper or cloth and then when complete, to put in a covered jar and store in refrigerator. Could we have a complete and concise recipe for this? Thanks.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: EVEN THOUGH THERE IS VERY LITTLE ALCOHOL LEFT IN THE DAILY DOSE OF 9 RAISINS, IT IS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO SHARE THIS WITH A TEENAGER.

  9. ebm
    Reply

    Publix grocery store on the regular raisin shelf, Whole Foods does NOT carry it because blond raisins have sulfur dioxide in them. Has anyone examined that perhaps the juniper in the Gin is the working ingredient?

  10. Sandy C
    Reply

    I tried gin soaked raisins years ago for shoulder pain, and had no results. I now have a degenerative disc and some arthritis in my spine and hips and decided to try again, when the pain was driving me crazy. I DEFINITELY notice a difference and am so thankful. I am hoping that it is cumulative and I will continue to improve, does anybody know if that is likely?

  11. Scooter's Mum
    Reply

    I suffered from swollen fingers, trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritic knuckles and after 6 full months of trying the gin soaked raisins, they didn’t work. I wore splints at night which helped some with the pain but my fingers got to the point, I was not able to make a fist with my right hand and my fingers would frequently freeze in place. I was told to get cortisone shots but as a last ditch effort tried taking HYALURONIC ACID capsules.
    It took about a month for the pain to diminish and now, 4 months later I am free of all the pain, I can make a fist again and for all intense and purposes I am literally symptom free!! You can buy HLA at any supplement store .. it’s been a life-changer for me. So, if the gin soaked raisins don’t work for you or if you’re watching your carbs and sugar intake, give HLA a try.

  12. Amy
    Reply

    I would like to try this. How long do they have to soak before you can eat them and how much per day?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: JUST SOAK UNTIL THERE’S NO GIN SITTING IN THE BOWL. IT MAY TAKE A FEW DAYS TO A WEEK. THEN EAT 9 PER DAY.

  13. Anne
    Reply

    I’ve known about this since you first published it. And only now, do I have old lady arthritic knuckles. But I can’t find the directions. Here’s what I think I remember. Cover the golden raisins with gin in a pyrex-type bowl until the liquid evaporates or is fully absorbed. May take a week, covered lightly with paper or cloth. Transfer to clean jar. Take 9 raisins a day. They should not taste like gin. Please correct this if
    I’ve erred or omitted. Thank you.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YOU’VE GOT IT RIGHT!

  14. cf
    Reply

    I had terrible swelling and pain for a couple of years in a finger joint. My doctor suggested a shot of cortisone but I decided to try the gin soaked raisins and they worked beautifully. My sister had the same problem (in the same joint: it’s obviously hereditary). She started taking them and called me to say that the improvement was “miraculous.” I have tried both regular gin and sloe gin and the sloe gin seems to work a bit better (and it’s a little cheaper). I have found the golden raisins in the bulk section of my supermarket.

  15. R. R.
    Reply

    Try any market, right next to regular raisins. I use Sun Maid brand and the cheapest gin I can find.

  16. abigail
    Reply

    Where can I find golden raisins?

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