Q. 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. I no longer needed the tape and was able to stop seeing the chiropractor. Thanks for the great tip!

A. We have been writing about gin-soaked raisins for joint pain for 20 years. Some people report great success, while others don’t find this remedy especially helpful.

To make the remedy, put golden raisins into a shallow bowl and pour gin over them until they are barely covered. Allow the gin to evaporate. This may take a week to 10 days. Then eat nine gin-soaked raisins daily.

There are more details about ways to ease arthritis in our 8-page Guide, Alternatives for Arthritis. You may be interested in boswellia, ginger or turmeric. More than one reader has reported success with a Mediterranean-style diet low in meat and refined flour and rich in fish, vegetables and fruit. Not only does this seem to ease inflammation in the joints, it has the added benefit of protecting the heart and helping prevent type 2 diabetes.


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  1. Caro

    Gordon’s Gin is made with juniper berries.

  2. Kathy

    I remember reading someone found that a certain brand of gin works best because it contains Juniper? What brand of gin was that? Please ASAP. Thank you.

  3. James W

    I have read a lot that this works for the knees, but what about the lower back? and hips?

  4. Cindy M. B.

    I, too, find it takes 3 or 4 days AT MOST for the raisins to get fluffy and soak up all the gin they’re going to. There’s always a little syrup left in the bottom that won’t get sucked up. The sucking-up should be done at room temperature.
    Put the raisins about 3 deep in a shallow bowl and cover with gin, and you may have to add more gin if the sucking-up happens too fast and the raisins are still kinda chewy. Then after they’re done, I put ’em in a jar in the fridge. SO YUMMY. And they totally work for my knees, which have been terribly injured over and over and yet I’m still skiing massively at 66. Thank you, gin-soaked raisins!

  5. Fran U.

    I’ve been using these with fair success for several years, but only soak the raisins until they are hydrated & plump, leaving a slight amount of syrupy liquid in the bottom of the bowl. This takes about 4 days. Is it required for them to soak until gin evaporates? I do still have occasional flare ups of arthritis pain in hips and left knee. In fact, I have Synovisc injections in knee twice yearly. Wonder if the shortened time I soak them affects the effectiveness.

  6. BobK

    Gin soaked raisens didn’t help my knee pain. I use hyaluronic acid (HA) instead and it has really worked well for me as well as others with joint pain in my community. Once off of HA eventually the pain returns. HA is a natural lubricant that is normally found in younger knees. As one ages the amount of HA decreases and joint problems start to occur. HA is also used to help aging skin and is included in many cosmedic products.

  7. DSM

    Once the raisins are prepared, are they kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator?

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