golden raisins and gin, gin soaked raisins, gin-raisin remedy

Q. I am totally confused this raisin remedy I keep reading about in your column. Why golden raisins and not black raisins? How much gin do you use and how long do you wait for the raisins to dry out? What happens if you eat more than nine raisins a day? How much alcohol is left in the raisins after it evaporates? Most important, does it really work against arthritis?

A. The gin and golden raisin recipe for arthritis is a home remedy. Like most such alternative approaches there is no science to explain the phenomenon.

Who knows how golden raisins were selected and why someone decided nine a day was the right dose. You empty a box of raisins in a bowl and pour just enough gin to cover them. Wait about a week or so for most of the gin to evaporate. Nine raisins have about a drop of alcohol.

You can learn more details about the “Gin Raisin Remedy” and read answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

As for the effectiveness of the raisin remedy, all we have are testimonials. One recent message offered the following:

“My husband had severe pain in his legs and hip. A friend told us about using white raisins soaked in gin. He started taking this and immediately saw a remarkable improvement. He also has diabetes and hypertension. We were not sure if the pain was from traumatic arthritis (he had had a pretty major accident in the past) or perhaps peripheral neuropathy from diabetes.

“Please share our experience. It has been a miracle for my husband. You only eat 9 raisins per day in the evening. He could barely get out of a chair before he started taking this home remedy.”

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  1. Linda
    Corona, calif.

    I read about this raise gin, several years ago but I didn’t have a problem. Now I have developed RA and would like to try it. It sounds great, I hope it helps. I am allergic to many medications and try to go natural as much as possible. Drs only want to give prescriptions, and don’t really listen or really care. Most don’t believe in natural cures. So I find myself backed in a corner many times.. I hope this helps I need some relief.

  2. Catherine
    Raleigh NC

    I’ve had severe arthritis for years. Two knee replacements one hip and a thumb joint. Unfortunately I also have to take Coumadin because of a serious problem with blood clotting. This summer I developed an ulcer from taking NASIDs (4 per day) and was desperate for another answer to my pain. I had absolutely nothing to lose. My doctor had no recommendations. I am thrilled with the results!!! I have been using this recipe for several months and am ecstatic. I still have some pain, but am able to exercise, go to the gym and feel great. I do take prescribed Celebrex about once a week, but I can get by with mostly the gin soaked raisins very well. My doctor took notes when I told him about my experience. Too bad we can’t get a controlled study about these home remedies with the funding our citizens contribute to public universities through taxes.

  3. Hbb
    New York

    I am just reading fir the first time no thought yet

  4. Dana
    Farmington, CT

    I am so glad that I happened upon this article about the golden raisins soaked in gin! It just so happens that the arthritis in my knees and hands have gotten much worse lately, and I have been desperate to find relief! I have been concerned about taking NSAIDs on a regular basis so I plan to try the golden raisins and gin right away!

    Is it correct that the raisins and gin have to soak for at least 2 weeks before they are effective?

    If there is someone out there that knows the answer to my question, I would really appreciate your help!

    Thanks so much!

  5. Maureen
    KC MO

    I doubt there are scientific reasons or that any clinical trials have been run for this golden raisin/rum remedy for the aches and pains of arthritis or neuropathy. That being said, does it matter? If people are getting relief and the individuals feel better and it is working for them then that is all that matters. The users should notify their doctors in any case and discuss if other remedies should be altered or eliminated. My experience with NSAIDS is so negative that I would discourage any one from long term use; the warnings on the labeling of such RX are true, and the OTC versions are also suspect. My RX intake is a big part of my health care; I long to give them up, but fear the result might be too negative. I am unable to take pain relieving meds. I have many health conditions that require RX and a variety of doctor specialists. I need a quarterback to get me through, but the pay is too low!

  6. vester
    Palm Springs, CA

    i have been using my concoction of golden raisins and gin for 4 weeks but only after letting the raisins soak (in a cloth-covered glass container for 2 weeks prior.) I am noticing a reduction in knee and lower back pains (I run 30 minutes daily at 65 years of age– normal weight male.) I plan to keep this routine up for 3 months and then stop to see if the pain recurs or worsens to. i think it is helping.

    I will not take otc meds beyond aspirin, and I am quite lucky because I don’t take any of the stuff doctors are pouring into my deteriorating friends. I blame their meds for most of their problems but that is their choice. I do not drink or smoke beyond the small amount of alcohol from the gin. My gene pool isn’t bad with most family members living to 90-95 years. I plan to do the same if blessed.

    You will lose nothing by trying this simple remedy and perhaps gain a great deal of comfort.
    P.S. The ladies appreciate a man with some life in

  7. chuck
    altoona iowa

    beefeaters gin is right to use — distilled with the berries

  8. Noele

    I’ve heard about this for decades, but didn’t think it applied to me. (My brother says, “You can always tell a Kraut, but you can’t tell them much. heh heh)

    With all the warnings about NSAID pain relievers, I’m concerned about the daily use of my Rx NSAID that I’ve been depending upon to tolerate the joint pain.

    After work, I’m going to the liquor store and read some labels. Thanks People’s Pharmacy for your forum!

    • chuck

      beefeaters gin is distilled with the berries

  9. erma
    new york

    this is new to me but I am going to try the remedy with the raisins and the gin.

  10. Lyn

    I have been using yellow raisins soaked in Gin for many years. I am now 70 and mostly in perfect health! I put 13 raisins in my morning cereal almost every day.

  11. Neil
    LA, CA

    Will be trying golden raisins and gin, thanks.

  12. Maggie
    Cape Cod

    I’ve heard Bombay Gin works best because the botanicals they infuse the gin with adds to the remedy. Have others heard this? It seems like people are having success without the Bombay. Just wondering.

  13. Fay

    I think I will try this and I do have a book of Home Remedies but need to locate it. thanks for this info. I have been prescription drug free for about 4 years and with changing my diet to mostly using natural sugars and baking ingredients, I have lost almost 130 lbs. Am still working on this. I have to find different recipes and sometimes make up my own but it works for me.

  14. Angela Paul

    After you put the raisins in the bowl and pour over the gin where do you store them at? Fridge or where? And also do you cover them? I need answer quick want to try them soon Thanks

  15. Dave K

    I use New Amsterdam N0.485 I put mine in a mug and cover with a saucer to prevent contamination and evaporation. The gin is used to soften for digestion Golden raisins contain 10 times more quercetin than regular raisins. Quercetin is a flavonoid that has antihistamine and anti – inflammatory properties. It works for me. I’ m 66 and drug free.

  16. Dave K

    both kinds of raisins are almost identical but the golden ones contain an ingredient that is anti-inflammatory and the dark ones something that is very beneficial for the brain, so eat both. The gin softens for better digestion and most contains juniper berry extract also beneficial . The nine provide on average about the equivalent of two over the counter tablets. You may adjusts accordingly and maybe twice a day

  17. Kathy

    I have read that it may be the juniper berries that are used to flavor the gin that is the magic ingredient. You can also get it in tea. Doesn’t hurt to try.

  18. Faith

    Actually, this is an old farmers remedy for arthritis and was included in a very old paperback book that I had many years ago along with the recipe for apple cider vinegar and water (to drink) and also as a diuretic and appetite suppressor before meals. I have occasionally used the vinegar drink but will now try the raisin-rum remedy.
    If I remember correctly, the title of this book was Natural Folk Remedies and I wish I still had the book.

  19. Windjammer
    Sussex. England

    Suffering from steadily worsening arthritis over the years I have been most interested in your contributor’s comments and am anxious to start the gin and raisin “solution” as soon as I can.

    However, while most of us query the type of gin used with the raisins, my own question relates to the GOLDEN RAISIN. The smaller Golden sultana is readily available over here and is often mistakenly labelled golden raisin, which it isn’t!

    Unfortunately the true golden raisin seems to be quite unobtainable so my questions are;-
    Can sultanas be used as a substitute for raisins and if so in what quantity ?
    Would it be possible to obtain from the U.S reasonably small quantities of REAL golden raisins?

    Any advice would be most appreciated.

    • The People's Pharmacy

      It’s our understanding that the sultana raisins found in the UK and in Australia are either very close to the golden raisins found in America, or the same. A different drying and treating process is what gives these raisins their golden color. These links may prove enlightening:

      This is a home remedy (your results may vary), and people try their own variations all the time. Why not try using some of your UK sultanas? If you do, please let us know if this remedy works for you.

  20. Judith
    kissimmee fl

    I tried the gin and raisin thing and it didn’t work but I will try again using Beefeaters. No one mentioned that to me in the past. Hope they sell that in small amounts b/c not only do I not like to drink, I hate gin!

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