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

Q. I‘ve been taking gin-soaked raisins for over two months. I don’t know whether or not they are helping my knee joints, but I don’t care. They are delicious.

There’s only one thing: I don’t have a clue why one should take only 9, not 8 or 10. Is that instruction a joke?

I’ve been taking a spoonful at bedtime and will continue so. Am I doing something wrong?

A. We often receive questions about the details of the “gin-raisin remedy” for arthritis. Like you, many want to know why nine raisins are specified. Others worry about the alcohol content or whether the gin-soaked raisins should be refrigerated.

We offer practical answers to such frequently asked questions in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

While nine raisins may be somewhat arbitrary, a teaspoon generally contains between 8 and 10 raisins. We think you should be fine with a spoonful.

Then again, 9 is a magical number, so who knows. You could always experiment to see whether you can detect a difference between 8, 9 or 10 raisins. By the way, we had 9 raisins tested for alcohol and discovered that there was about 1 drop of alcohol left after you let the gin evaporate.

Gin & Raisin Story from Visitor

Jim offered this:

“Just wanted to tell you that 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.

“I had the cartilage removed 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 was on my hands and knees. Needed something to grab onto to help lift myself up to my feet. When ever there was a severe weather change it was very difficult to get around.

“The last several weeks I’ve been without any pain. My knee hasn’t been without pain for quite a few years. Sending for your guide was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Thank you for the information you provided.”  Jim

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  1. Geraldine

    Looking for the recipe to make the gin and raisins correctly..

  2. Deb

    I read a University study on gin soaked golden raisins and the explanation was that you derived the benefit from 9 raisins -anymore was a waste. It didn’t hurt but did nothing more than the nine. I’ve been using this for years but use only Seagrams dry gin.

  3. Jane

    Do you have to use yellow raisins for the gin soaked raisin recipe?

  4. Marina K.
    Logan Utah

    Well, the bar of soap between the mattress and the bottom sheet on my bed has done its thing. I haven’t had leg cramps in the three months since I was so desperate to stop them I actually did exactly that.

    So, now I have golden raisins drying out in their gin bath. Am hoping to come back and tell you some good things–like the pain in my knees and thumbs going away so I can work on miniatures and sewing once again. :)

  5. Teddy

    Instead of Gordon Distilled London Dry Gin can I use a different brand of gin?

    • The People's Pharmacy

      It’s a home remedy, so there is no “official” way make it. Try another brand and see if it works for you. Do keep in mind that certain inexpensive gins may use artificial juniper flavoring rather than the real ingredient, and that may affect the outcome. If you use another brand and it works for you, please leave a comment and let us know!

      Here’s another link about this that you may find interesting:

  6. Cindy M. B.
    Seattle, WA

    Ha Ha! I’m so glad you decided to answer the question re: WHY 9 RAISINS? I’ve also asked that question but never got a good reply. I too take gin-soaked raisins and they definitely help my knees, which have sustained many sports injuries. BUT, they are so good it’s impossible to eat just 9. Plus, when I tell people about the raisins, I am embarrassed to tell them to take 9; I always say 10. Nine sounds kinda weird and, in my opinion, cuts down on the credibility of the advice. Ten sounds much more logical. Cheers! (PS, I always eat more than 10 anyway).

  7. Liz

    I’m so glad you ran this today. My hands and knees have been quite painful. I didn’t realize until today that I’ve stopped taking my raisins!

  8. Kristin L.

    I believe that in an earlier article on gin-soaked raisins, you said that it was important to use gin that was made with juniper berries. I assume this means that the juniper berries have something to do with reducing pain. When I checked the gin I was using, the bottle mentioned nothing about juniper berries, so I added about 20 juniper berries to the gin/yellow raisin combination and they are no soaking. Do you think this will make up for there apparently being no juniper berries in the gin?

    • Helen M
      Modesto, CA

      I recall something about neutral spirits not working. My bottle of Tanqueray says mixed with the finest botanicals; but it also says 100% grain neutral spirits. This is an expensive gin. The bottle of New Amsterdam just says neutral spirits. I have been using the raisins for ten or more years. My sister wanted to prove this was crazy when I told her about it, so conducted an experiment using Tanqueray; to her surprise the pain in her knees which was severe enough to stop her from shopping, disappeared! That’s when I started, because of pain in my hips that woke me at night and kept me spinning in the bed. The raisins were so good, I began adding dark raisins, then other dried fruit, until I had more of the dark than the golden. So I separated them, using the cheaper gin for the dark fruit. Oh, so good! I have also recently increased the raisins to eleven because my hips have started hurting again.

    • The People's Pharmacy

      We don’t know. We’ve not tried this experiment, so we’ll be interested in your results.

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