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

Q. About two months ago I sent away for your Guide on Alternatives for Arthritis. I wanted to wait till I was sure it was the golden raisins and gin that stopped the pain in my left knee before contacting you again.

I had the cartilage removed from my knee around 1980. Since then, the knee has been very painful with all the arthritis that’s set in. For years I had all I could do to stand up if I where on my hands and knees. I needed something to grab onto to help lift myself up to my feet. Whenever there was a severe weather change it was very difficult to get around.

The last several weeks I’ve been with out any pain. My knee hasn’t been without pain for quite a few years, so this is quite a dramatic improvement. Sending for your brochure was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Thank you for the information in your Guide.  Jim W.

A. Thanks for the testimonial Jim. We have no idea why some people get such relief and others tell us that the gin-soaked raisins are worthless. We chalk it up to human variability.

Most people have to wait anywhere from 30 to 60 days to experience any improvement. But we did get this message some time ago from David:

“I’ve been suffereing from terrible arthritis for more than a year, and I’m only 43. I had both knees arthroscopied a year ago, and then the symptoms spread over my entire body: fingers, knuckles, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, ankles.

“I tried the usual NSAIDS with little or no effect, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for six months, again with no effect. Three days ago my mom called and told me about the “raisins and gin” approach. What the hell, I thought. I went out right away and bought yellow raisins and gin.

“For the past two and a half days, I haven’t needed to use a crutch; the pain is diminished tremendously throughout the body, and my mood has lifted. Is this a case of “mind over body” like I’ve had before (without success), or does this really work this fast? It’s hard to believe that nine gin-soaked raisins per day work such miracles. I’ve spent much of the past year in bed, and am only able to work part-time on weekends! Should I believe that this is a reliable ‘cure,’and my life will get back to normal?”

We have no way of knowing whether David experienced long-lasting improvement with the gin-soaked raisin approach. We know that people who have not achieved the desired benefit have gotten relief from some other quirky remedies. One that remains popular is grape juice and Certo (plant pectin). Here’s Kent’s story:

“Yes, I know you have put information on the home remedy grape juice and pectin on your web site, and in your book Quick and Handy Home Remeides from The People’s Pharmacy. My purpose in writing is to share my extraordinary results as an encouragement for you to keep spreading the word so others might benefit.

“My dosage varies a little, but I am not about to try to modify it considering the great results I enjoy. This is an anecdotal account of a home remedy that has made dramatic improvements in the management of my osteoarthritis that I share with others who have the same problem.  I am now sixty years old . I have had no cartilage in my right knee since 1967.

“Over twenty five years ago my osteoarthritis was confirmed by x-ray.  I have had an active life style: running (quit 15 years ago after running 34,582 miles.. lifetime); basketball (half court basketball, twice weekly, for forty years); walking (daily – one to three miles); etc.  In the last several years my osteoarthritis symptoms had worsened, and I had worn a leg (Bledsoe Thruster) brace for over three years, and had used a cane for the last eighteen months.  Pain was continuous, and the swelling of the knee was significant (usually more than 3 inches greater in circumference than my left knee); I had difficulty sleeping, and started considering a total knee replacement procedure sometime in 2002.

“In mid November 2001 a business associate mentioned that some friends had found relief from their osteoarthritis by using a home remedy. The remedy:  each morning take two teaspoons, by mouth, of liquid pectin in four to six ounces of grape (not grapefruit) juice. The brand I use is by KRAFT FOODS, and carries the trade name CERTO. There is a ‘BALL’ brand as well. It is commonly used to make fruit jams, and jellies at home.

My results:  within eight (8) hours my pain/soreness diminished to almost zero;  swelling was reduced significantly; and I slept all night without interruption for the first time in years;  I stopped using the leg brace, and cane that first day.  These positive results have continued every single day since starting the regimen.

“Note, I had made no other changes in medications, supplements, diet, activities, etc., and have continued the regimen faithfully every day. The only possible minimal side effect, which may or may not, be related to the remedy, has been minimal.  If I walk for many miles during the day, by late evening I start to feel a burning sensation in my right thigh while walking or climbing stairs.  It diminishes as soon as I get the weight off my legs.  It has only been experienced about five times in the last year.

“I have no idea if I am one of a very lucky select few that can benefit from this remedy, or if it would have the same effect on most osteoarthritis affected persons.  I wish it could be the subject of a controlled study.

“If I can be of any assistance in helping you or others take advantage of this regimen, please, contact me, or come to the Maverick Athletic Club in Arlington, Texas most Saturday mornings, and watch me play half court basketball with men half my age, and younger. My right knee is still “arthritic bone on arthritic bone”, but I have surprising mobility, and only very moderate discomfort.

“I am a very lucky guy!!  Thank you”

That message came in a decade ago, so we doubt that Kent is still playing half court basketball with men half his age. But we sure are glad that he got he got his mobility back. Should you wish to learn more about these and dozens of other remedies for arthritis and other common conditions we suggest either our Guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis or The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

And we would love to hear your story. How well do these approaches work for you? If one doesn’t work, does something else provide relief? What about combinations such as pomegranate or tart cherry juice, turmeric plus grape juice and Certo? And if these remedies don’t do the trick, we want to know that too. Share your story in the comment section below.

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  1. Charles f.
    Lubbock texas

    Just put my golden raisins in a plastic container and poured enough Gordon’s dry London gin to just cover the raisins. I covered the raisins with a dish towel. I plan to stir the raisins once a day for about a week till the gin evaporates. I will then cover them with a lid and refrigerate. I will eat 9 raisins a day to see if this helps.

    I have had rheumatoid arthritis since 1984. I have had nine major surgeries on my knees, hips and also I had a stomach perforation because I was taking arthritis medication on an empty stomach the medication perforated my stomach and I had to have emergency surgery.. The arthritis has affected my hands, elbows toes ankles knees neck shoulders and any place in my body that has a Joint. I have tried Naprosyn, tolectin, Motrin, methotrexate, plaquenil, gold shots, Cortizone shots and a bone every kind of arthritis medication you can imagine. They work for a while but soon start getting side effects and they quit working so I would thrown them away and for the last 15 or 20 years I have just live basically with sleeve which seems to Be the only aspirin or NSAID that works so I’m really hoping this gin and raisins works. I would appreciate any advice on anything that I might do different and my help in preparing my gin and raisin mix or use Gordon’s drying London June because they said to use one that uses real juniper berries instead of one they just flavors it would Juniper berry I use the sun might golden raisins so it appreciate any feedback that might help thank you Charles

  2. kriz

    How long will it take effect after eating the 9 raisins?

  3. emh

    They are still good! I took mine out in parts, like 1/2 cup and let the alcohol evaporate off, then did my 9 a day.

  4. and

    I have not been using my gin soaked raisins for a while. They have been soaking in a jar now for about 3 months. There is still gin in the jar. Should I throw them out and start again? Or are they still safe to take?
    People’s Pharmacy response: They are probably safe, but you might want to spread them out in a shallow pan to let the gin evaporate a bit more.

  5. emh

    The way I look at it, why not try it!? I’ve been on the “raisin” deal 3 days. Tasty little chubs! I figure nothing lost if it won’t work and I’m giving it 2 months to see! I have BAD knees and the early stages of a bit of OA. Mom is trying it too, she’s 87 and several pain in arthritis….so if it works great for her!

  6. CA

    I have arthritis in my neck. Do you think the gin and raisins remedy will work to decrease the arthritic pain in my neck?

  7. alxzba

    My experience with the soaking is I leave the raisin/gin mix open to the air for maybe a day to a day-1/2. The alcohol evaporates and I bottle the raisins while still damp from the gin (tastes better than dried out). In your case it will depend on air movement across raisins as to time of evaporation.

  8. Karin M.

    In Nov.2005 I had an accident and my right knee was shattered (comminuted fracture) and ligaments torn. The orthopedic surgeon used the 2 largest pieces left of my kneecap and fashioned a small kneecap out of them and repaired the ligaments. For 3 months I was in a wheelchair, and had physical therapy. The pain was excruciating. But I learned to walk again, albeit with a limp. I am always in pain, even at rest. Because of my altered gait my right hip and my back (L5 to coccyx) is hurting, and I have inflammatory arthritis in most of my joints.
    I wonder if golden raisins soaked in Gin would work for me. I would like to get input from people with the same or similar knee injuries and their experience with the raisin/gin remedy, or any other natural remedy, actually.
    Prescription pain medications (NSAID’s ect.) mess-up my stomach/intestines and I still leave me with pain. Only Vicodin helps; but I hate to take it because I don’t want to become hooked on it. I am waiting to hear from people who are familiar to my predicament. Thank You.

  9. lfreese227

    I’m a 54-year-old woman and I swear by gin-soaked raisins. I have arthritis in my hips and it’s often difficult to sleep at night. Since I’ve started eating the raisins, the pain in my hips has stopped. I put mine in a quart Mason jar, cover them with Blue Sapphire gin, and add some honey and cinnamon. I shake them every day and begin eating them after a week or so. I usually eat about a tablespoon every day (more than 9) because they’re so tasty! I don’t let the gin evaporate so the raisins are “juicy.” I just keep them on the counter. When my jar gets about 2/3 empty I start a new jar.

  10. AW

    My husband is on Coumadin. Can he use the gin and raisin remedy for his knees?
    People’s Pharmacy response: It should not be a problem so long as he sticks to the dose: 9 raisins daily.

  11. emh

    Could someone please reply with the length of time for soaking before consuming? Like a minimum time…

  12. KB

    He was told about it three days ago, bought the stuff and then two and a half days ago the pain is diminished. Since one is supposed to soak the raisins until the gin has evaporates (takes days) then something does not add up here! Placebo affect and then wrote in?
    Also, we are never told how to store the raisins; in the fridge? covered in the pantry?
    AND we are told to eat NINE. Whether we are a 98 pound woman or a 300# man, we are to eat NINE. So I do wonder what happened to those people who ate ten or eight in the history of it or the study if there was one.

  13. Betty France

    The gin soaked raisins did work for me…. for quite a while….. but eventually I had to have total knee replacement. And I am NOW pain free, and I can run (short distances) with the best of them. I am 80.

  14. Bob McCall

    Regarding your recent article, how long do you soak the raisins in Gin before you start eating 9 raisins a day. Thank you

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