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

Have you looked at the side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lately? Drugs like diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, meloxicam, piroxicam and naproxen can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, atrial fibrillation (AFib), fluid retention, heart failure, indigestion, stomach ulcers, perforation of the intestines, kidney and liver damage. It’s hardly any wonder that people would like less dangerous alternatives. That may be why gin-soaked raisins is a perennial favorite of readers of our syndicated newspaper column.

A lot of people want to know how to make this arthritis remedy. You would be amazed at the number of questions people have about this seemingly simple treatment. Here are just a few of the questions we get:

The Gin-Soaked Raisin Remedy:

Q. Do you have a recipe for gin-soaked raisins? How much gin is used for every pound of raisins?

My mother has joint pain and it would help her a lot to have some more detailed information!

A. To prepare gin-soaked raisins, start with golden raisins.

Here are some very common questions:

How Much Gin?

Put them in a shallow bowl and pour in just enough gin to barely cover them.

How Long Do They Sit?

Allow the raisins and gin to stand uncovered (or covered with a towel to keep out dust) until the gin has nearly completely evaporated. The raisins will still be very moist. This may take from two days to more than a week, depending on environmental conditions.

How Many Gin-Soaked Raisins to Take?

Once the raisins are ready, store them in a tightly closed container. Refrigeration is not necessary. The “dose” is nine (delicious) raisins daily.

We hope your mother finds them helpful. Be sure to watch our video (above) on gin-soaked raisins as a home remedy for arthritis to get more details on the procedure for making this recipe.

Why can’t you eat more than 9? What happens if you do eat more?

Many people expect very specific instructions and answers like the question above. Please remember that these are not scientifically tested pharmaceuticals that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is mostly trial and error and grandmothers’ wisdom at work. We do not think anything bad would happen if you ate 10 raisins…or even a handful. Whether 20 would work better (or less well) than 9 is anyone’s guess.

Can I use any other alcohol? Why Gin in particular?

The original recipe was for gin and golden raisins. We suspect that the juniper in “regular” gin might be contributing something special. That said, some people have reported benefit from sloe gin.

Golden raisins soaked in gin were ineffective against my arthritis pain, but raisins in sloe gin were immediately and totally effective. Thanks for the suggestion.”

Regular gin is flavored with juniper berries, while sloe gin is flavored with sloe berries from the blackthorn bush, which was traditionally used for digestive disorders. This isn’t the first time we have heard that sloe gin with raisins may be helpful against arthritis pain. Other people have substituted vodka for gin. Those who shun alcohol report that vinegar and golden raisins can be helpful.

 Stories from Readers:

Dinny in Tampa, Florida has rheumatoid arthritis. Her story reminds us of Betsy White. She was one of the first people to report great success with what she call the “gin raisin remedy.” It took Betsy about two months to experience improvement. Dinny got relief a lot faster:

My friend was recently diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and I have it as well. She heard about this golden raisins and gin recipe and passed it on to me. Her swollen knee got better and her hand pain is gone. I had an RA flare and within two days it was gone. It has made a believer in me. Thank you.

Beth in Canton, Georgia offers an interesting twist on the raisin remedy:

I have eaten 9 gin-soaked raisins a day for three years and have no joint pain at age 72. Don’t use organic raisins. They’re not exposed to sulfur dioxide gas (sulphites) before drying like Sun Maid. Isn’t that why Sun Maid raisins must be used in the gin-soaked raisin (GSR) recipe-“sulphites react with the gin to make an herbal tincture,” right?

“Bombay Sapphire Gin has the most anti-inflammatory ingredients. GSRs are famous for being a highly anti-inflammatory pain relieving food that doesn’t cause stomach, liver or kidney damage as pharmaceutical drugs do. I’ll never stop eating them daily.”

Here are some other stories from visitors to this website:

I’m still on the raisins and love this home remedy. Not only did it completely rid my knees of RA [rheumatoid arthritis] but now the RA is gone from my left shoulder….amazing.

“I have given this information to ALL my doctors and they listen with interest. I give them my card with the web site and they tell me they will check on it. We read your articles in the Palm Beach Post. Keep up your very good work.” -H.

“I always look forward to your column in the LA Times. We were visiting family up in Oregon and my sister-in-law showed me your book.

“She tried the raisins steeped in gin for an arthritic shoulder and it worked wonders for her. While visiting, I tried the ‘magic raisins’ for my aching knee and was delighted the pain disappeared after two days’ dose of raisins. I would like to buy a copy of your book. Please tell me how to obtain it.” -Georges. C.

Thanks for the report Georges. Here is a link to our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It has lots of other arthritis treatments along with remedies for dozens of common ailments.

Hi,  I  have  tried gin and raisins for arthritis and have had great success.  I am now pain free and no longer require any medication.  Why do you need to use the golden raisins?  They are more expensive and sometimes are hard to find in the store. Please let know if the dark raisins work  just as well as the golden ones.”  Gerry

We cannot say why golden raisins are the preferred approach. Some folks report that dark raisins work just as well. Others tell us that vodka works instead of gin. And a few people have substituted apple cider vinegar for gin or vodka. Not everyone gets benefit, but we are constantly amazed at how many people report success with this approach.

Would you like to watch a video of us making the Gin-Soaked Raisins? Here is a link:

How Do You Make Gin-Soaked Raisins?

Please let us know if this makes sense. Have you ever tried this home remedy? If so, please share your experience in the comment section below. If you like home remedies you will love our book from National Geographic: The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. If you have arthritis, you may also find our new book, Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis of great value. It has lots of nondrug approaches for dealing with joint pain.

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    I am so glad that I came across this website. It reminded me of 30 years ago when my mom and dad used to make these. They have passed now, but this did work for them. As soon as I can get to the store I am going to make these. I will post back in a couple weeks now it works.

  2. Janis

    I absolutely LOVE golden raisins w/gin which controlled my jumping out of bed w/ horrible leg cramps. HOWEVER, after years of taking my teaspoonful at bedtime, I eventually developed tiny tooth cavities in my lower teeth (I am 79) so, be sure to brush AFTER eating your raisins!

  3. John

    My wife was in car accident 20 years ago and has neck pain ever since. Treated with nerve blocks and meds. Has anyone had success with gin soak raisins for helping with that type of pain.

  4. Alex

    I have used gin soaked raisins for nearly ten years and only occasionally wake up with painful hand joints, I add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and some honey. I have even had doctors recommend turmeric with added black pepper. I only use golden raisins which are not always available. This makes a sticky, gooey, tasty concoction. I don’t measure but use one teaspoonful.

  5. Cindy B
    Seattle, WA

    My comment may be in here somewhere as I’ve written about the GSR’s before. Mainly, THEY WORK! I’ve broken at least 42 bones (some were package deals), and my kneecap has been severely displaced for at least 4 years. I should be in a wheelchair! But at 70yo I’m still skiing double-diamond runs fast and hard, and I have very little pain. I take only Tylenol, and not much of that.

    Every night I do the GSR’s, with tart cherry juice and hibiscus tea… I also do krill oil capsules, turmeric, some basic anti-inflammatories (Zyflamend and bromelain), and hyaluronic acid (all just per package instructions). As all these things benefit the joints, I can’t say the GSR’s were the biggest hero, but they sure haven’t hurt!

    I have to admit, I take about 14-15 raisins… because they’re just too darn delicious to stop at 9.

  6. Kristin

    I eat gin-soaked raisins daily. I’m not positive they help, however. I do think the instructions to eat exactly NINE is suspicious. The last time I bought golden raisins in bulk from Sprouts, they were HUGE (the grapes must have been no less than 1″ long). Nine of those raisins certainly is not the same as nine small raisins. Regarding the juniper: not all gin has juniper…..check the ingredients. I bought dried juniper berries and always add quite a few (20-25?) to the gin and raisins, and I also eat the juniper berries. They aren’t as tasty as the raisins, but if they might help, I’m happy to eat them.

  7. Robert

    I have numbness and tingling in my arms, hands and fingers especially on my left side. Unable to sleep, loss of feeling and use in/of my hands and fingers. Does anyone know of a home remedy to relieve this problem? Age 88.

    • Patricia D
      New York

      Please contact your physician and get this checked out immediately. I am concerned with the fact that you are experiencing this numbness/tingling on one side (it is especially concerning with it being on the left) which could indicate a stroke or heart attack. Please PLEASE talk to your doctor.

  8. Cheryl

    I started using gin and raisins last February for joint pain It has worked really well but an added bonus is that I haven’t had an attack of gout since last February either and have been able to stop taking Allopurinol I’m sure it’s due to the gin and raisins so would be interested to know if that has worked for others who suffer with gout.

  9. Ann

    Hiya! I am a gin-soaked raisin fan and have used them in the past to get rid of pain in my elbow from repetitive motion at work. This time, however, I wonder if I left the raisins too long in the gin as a sticky substance (like honey) appeared. The raisins are now all super sticky. Should I throw them out and start again?

  10. Ro

    Is this good for RA or osteoarthritis, or both?

  11. luks
    port Elizabeth S A

    My fingers cramp in the mornings coz of my work, want to try this remedy

  12. Donnie
    Edmonton, AB, CA

    I am an recovering alcoholic and abstain from alcohol, do you have any other suggestions for joint pain?

    • Terry Graedon

      Yes, there are many home remedies that contain no alcohol. Fish oil, boswellia, turmeric, tart cherries, pineapple juice are all possibilities. Search our site for “joint pain home remedy” and you’ll find quite a few.

  13. Suzy

    My body has been in an RA frenzy since I returned from a Caribbean Cruise last month. I have been researching gin-soaked raisins for several months and decided they couldn’t hurt. I started them last Saturday. My joint pain is now pretty much non-existent, and I’ve lost 5 lbs of fluid retention (double bonus!). I’ve been able to sleep on a regular pillow, without pillows under my knees and on my side – I haven’t been able to do that for 3 years! I’ve only been eating the raisins for 5 days, but this is a life-time change for me.

  14. Lou

    Can you soak a whole box of raisins at one time?

    • Jeanie
      Wilson, NC

      Yes! I put the whole box in a plastic container, like the large soup container you get at Chinese take out, and put the lid on. I turn them every day or so. Works great.

  15. Judi
    Wilmington, NC

    What if one is a diabetic? Same dose? Will it effect glucose readings? Judi

    • John R
      chatt. TN

      What if one is a diabetic same dose? Will it effect glucose readings? John

  16. Bob
    Churchdown, UK

    I am in my late sixties and have used this remedy for about twelve years after my mother suggested it. I find the easiest way to make it is by putting the sultana raisins in jam jars, leaving enough room at the top to allow for them to expand, and then fill the jar with gin. Check it after two to three days, and top up with more gin if needed. It is usually ready in about seven to ten days.

    I normally have about fifteen or so on my breakfast cereal. I cannot say for sure that it is a cure for arthritis, but I have an arthritic finger which does not give me any pain. The taste is wonderful, and it is a great way to get one of your five a day!

  17. Rita

    I plan to try this for arthritis, but would love to know if anyone has used this method to reduce inflammation attacks, and improve symptoms of “PROGRESSIVE MS”? Many disorders involve inflammation, and I can’t help wondering if something so simple couldn’t assist to clean up. I would appreciate any comments regarding my interest of alternate conditions that create major disability!

  18. Bob

    I have mild arthritis in both knees since 5 years back with a little pain. I took Glucosamine as recommended by many. About 2 and 1/2 years ago, I got ‘Trigger Fingers’ about the same time an old friend told me about the Gin soaked Raisins. I tried and did not go for the op on my fingers, and now going without the Glucosamine doses. It works very well to date and am still playing badminton twice a week. Have introduced this remedy to my game mates too. They love it. Sharing the goodies here.

  19. Pamela

    My MIL told me about this and she cooks down the gin in a pot instead of letting it soak into the raisins. I’ve been googling and haven’t seen any recipes for that. Do you think it’s the same if you put them in a pot to boil? Thanks

  20. a. light

    i counted 9 raisins after soaking them. i put them in a tea spoon. it filled the spoon. 9 raisins is a teaspoon ful. i have two spoon fuls daily for the taste.

  21. Lloyd Moore
    New Bern, NC

    I’m 73 years old, and several years ago I began having what I called “morning back pain.” It was mainly on the left side, in the area of the sacroiliac. Over the course of a few months, it gradually got worse, until getting out of bed became very painful, and I couldn’t walk without supporting myself. After 15-20 minutes of moving around, the pain subsided.
    I learned about gin soaked raisins from searching on “morning back pain” and tried them. After about 2 weeks, the pain was gone, and hasn’t returned. I’ll never stop taking the GSRs.

  22. Kristin
    La Pointe, WI

    I make the raisins win a jar and then it’s easy to keep them stored. I also add juniper berries in case the gin (which does contain juniper berries) doesn’t have enough. Quite frankly, the gin-soaked golden raisins don’t do a thing for my pain, but I love the taste and have a spoonful twice a day as a treat.

    • Pauline

      Just a thought Kristin…maybe adding the extra juniper berries may have something to do with it not working for you. I really don’t know. It was something that came to mind when I was reading your post.

  23. Barbara

    Cured of RA in two days of taking 9 gin-soaked raisins each day? That is a stunning placebo effect. Or the person never had arthritis to start with. Arthritis is not cured in a day or two, or perhaps ever. I think these people just like gin-soaked raisins! I have arthritis and nothing natural has helped me.

  24. Suzanne

    How do you store the raisins after they soaked up the gin?

  25. Dinny
    Tampa FL

    My friend was recently diagnosed with RA and I have it as well. She heard about this golden raisins and gin recipe and passed it on to me. Her swollen knee got better and her hand pain is gone. I had an RA flare and within two days it was gone. It has made a believer in me. Thank you

  26. Clarice
    denver, co.

    I followed your video, I put a paper towel over my raisins, the paper towel socked up all the gin. your video said a few days to evaporate. what else should I do?

  27. Sharon

    If you put the raisins in a 9×13 glass baking dish and cover with the gin, it does not take as long. My mother used them for her arthritis. She said that they made it where she could make a fist and stop the pain it her knees.

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