Q. I am very disappointed that you suggest gin-soaked raisins to relieve arthritis pain. I have served on the local Public Education Committee for the Arthritis Foundation. During one meeting someone mentioned this remedy.
A physician at the meeting said sarcastically, “Forget the raisins and just drink the gin. Neither will help, but the gin could make you forget your arthritis briefly.”
People with arthritis need the care of a competent rheumatologist who can prescribe appropriate medications. Home remedies have no place in rational therapy.
A. We would be horrified if someone drank gin (or any alcoholic beverage) to alleviate arthritis pain. The recipe calls for golden raisins soaked in gin which is then allowed to evaporate. When we had this remedy tested, the lab found a total of one drop of alcohol in nine raisins.
Home remedies are rarely tested in scientific studies, and we are not aware of any research supporting the use of gin-soaked raisins for arthritis. There are also no studies proving this remedy ineffective. To dismiss it without evidence seems prejudiced.
Many people have found this simple and inexpensive approach helpful.
“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.”
“I’m 40 years old and recently started playing competitive tennis. The wear and tear on my knees was causing a lot of problems, especially with my left knee. I was in a lot of pain, having to wear tape 24 hours a day, and having to see my chiropractor on a weekly basis. I started eating the gin soaked raisins I read about in your column and within two weeks I was pain free, no longer needed the tape, and was able to stop seeing the chiropractor. Thanks for the great tip!”
“As an active senior I was more than dismayed with increasing arthritis to the point of pain when I attempted simple activities. Aspirin and exercise helped a bit. I tried deleting the “reds” from my diet, (meat, tomatoes, eggplant) taking “guaranteed” OTC arthritis remedies (for which money was returned) and capsules with Boswellin/Turmeric/Bromelain mix.
“Some easing occurred. Then I tried the gin-soaked raisins and I am pain-free and flexible once more. Fantastic. I am so very grateful to you for your advice! My horses thank you, my grandkids thank you and my garden also thanks you.”
We know these kinds of anecdotes are not scientific. You can read many more stories on our website by putting raisins into the search engine. You can also find out answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) by downloading our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. There are lots more details about how to prepare the gin-raisin-remedy for yourself.
Finally, we cannot help but point out that compared to prescription arthritis drugs, the Raisin Remedy is much less likely to cause serious side effects. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can cause major damage to the digestive tract. In addition there is concern about higher blood pressure, heart attacks and the risk of kidney damage. There is even a new concern about kidney cancer and NSAIDs.
When scientists study home remedies like cranberry juice to prevent urinary infections or chicken soup to treat cold symptoms, they sometimes find that the old wives were right. Perhaps someday they will look at gin-soaked raisins as a reasonable arthritis remedy for some people. We know it won’t work for everyone, but for those it helps the raisin remedy is affordable and safer than most available medications.

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  1. cpmt

    Juniper berries in gin.

  2. Cpmt

    I think the Gin remedy will work with natural herbal/plant gin and not with synthetic gin.

  3. Gary

    This doctor is so wrong in so many ways. I can’t tell you how many “Doctor prescribed” remedies have been from the results of home remedies. Also how many doctors keep treating people over & over with different things because they don’t work for some but will for others.
    If I was told to eat tree bark to relieve my knee pain and I did and it worked then what’s the problem?!? Doesn’t matter if it is mind over matter or not. I am a big believer in mind over matter any way. I think we have it within ourselves to cure a lot of what is wrong…after all we play a big part sometimes in what makes us ill.

  4. Anne G.

    I had been having difficulty with my arthritic hip upon arising in the morning from bed and after engaging in housework. I tried the raisin-gin regimen. It’s been about a week now and I am having no difficulty at all. The pain has gone, and I am very glad to have found People’s Pharmacy and the people who comment on the site.

  5. SAV

    True – those old wives, old Indians, old Asians, old Greeks, and descendants of old, ancient medicine that sustained populations for ages truly did know things about the uses of “natural,” unscientifically tested remedies. Such potions and notions were precursors to what pompous neophytes to healing in western medicine call “proven” remedies.
    If today’s physicians replaced sarcasm with open-mindedness, the society would benefit from a global perspective on healing. Lord, please let the schools begin to teach young doctors just that. Because we are the patients of your future… and we insist upon it.

  6. bf

    I worked for a doctor once and he said things like ‘everything you tell a patient they take for truth because YOU are the doctor’ and ‘they (the patients) believe everything I say and I can say anything’….. It so turned me against their arrogance. But oh, when I need one, I am sure glad he is there.

  7. Cindy B.

    3 words to that doctor: SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. Obviously you are in the same club as my own Dr.: the society of tiny, closed, arrogant minds.

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