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

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.

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  1. Candi

    I had not heard of this before today. I went to the Dr and he suggested I start trying this it is helping some of his other patients with RA. He said he is very concerned with the ibuprofen side affects and is asking his patients to give this a try

  2. Kathleen

    Can I use new Amsterdam gin? It also does not have junipers on the label.

  3. Sal

    I looked at several gin bottles in my part of the country, Chicago, and none listed contents beyond the front label, which declared it was made from 100% Grain Neutral Spirits. I went ahead and purchased the brand you recommended, Gordon’s, and plan to hope for the best. Any thoughts as to why juniper berries aren’t included on the label?

  4. Mary

    The last bottle I bought of Gordon’s Gin didn’t have the juniper berries on the label. They have always been mentioned before. Are they still in the recipe?

  5. KeithC
    Grovetown Ga.

    Could you infuse the gin using actual juniper berries in a mesh or cheese cloth in the raisins and gin as it soaks? And would this increase the anti-inflammatory benefits of the juniper? wkc.

  6. Lin
    North carolina

    Well what do I do? Drink it, eat the raisins? Help!

  7. 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.

  8. patricia wood
    Midland mi

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

  9. 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.

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