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

Most people never consider that a home remedy or dietary supplement might interact with a prescription medicine. That is why this question is important. We wish more people would inquire about such interactions.

Q. I am taking gin-soaked raisins for arthritis in my right hand and it is working really well.

Is there any interaction with my meds: hydrochlorothiazide, simvastatin, terazosin and finasteride? I have been doing the gin/raisins for a month or two and the relief has been fabulous.

A. We doubt there is an interaction between your medications and the gin-soaked raisins you are using. As long as you stick to the recommended dose of nine raisins a day, you are getting about one drop of alcohol. On the other hand, there has been no research on the potential for interactions, so you may have to be vigilant on how your body is responding.

Others who would like to know more about this raisin remedy or other ways to ease arthritis pain may be interested in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

Not for Everyone

Gin-soaked raisins don’t work for everyone. The golden raisins used contain sulfites, so they are not appropriate for those who are sensitive to those compounds. It is also not a good remedy for alcoholics or recovering alcoholics. And the raisins must absolutely never be given to the family dog. Raisins are toxic to dogs!

Gin-Soaked Raisin Testimonials

People who do get relief are often as enthusiastic as Carol, who wrote:

“I started taking gin-soaked raisins a year ago for arthritis pain in wrist. After 3 weeks, it relieved all pain … pain which previously kept me awake at night and kept me from doing simple tasks with my left hand. During the past year I only stopped taking the raisins for 4 days, while I was on vacation. By the 4th day the pain returned so I immediately started taking them again. Since taking them, my shoulders and knees feel better too.”

Barbara is just as positive:

“I have used golden raisins soaked in gin as recommended to me by a nurse who had Fibromyalgia as I have. I have used a teaspoon a day for over 15 years and I have gone from major muscle pain to no longer feeling my body unless I get hugely stressed and have a flare up. But I recover in a day.

“I am a support/contact person for The CFIDS Association of America. I have recommended this remedy for fibromyalgia, arthritis and to a lady with a serious back condition that required her to sleep in a recliner, not a bed. After 3 days on the raisins, she slept in her bed 8 hours not getting up to take any pain meds. This is a safe alternative to addictive pain meds and it WORKS.

“The American Arthritis Association recognizes how the raisins and gin cut pain and inflammation, as I called the Portland office. They were reluctant to give “medical advice” so I just said a lady called and wanted to know if she could substitute vodka as she thought she was allergic to gin and the woman at the Arthritis Association quickly responded “Oh NO, it has to be gin!” There you have it. An admission that gin and raisins really work.

“And after they start working, you can go for DAYS without taking them as they do NOT work like an aspirin where you need to take them every 4 hours or you hurt again. Once they are in your system, they work, you can go away for a week and not bring them with you, just restart when back home.”


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  1. Rahat

    Heard about white raisins soaked in gin to relieve arthritis inflammation. Immediately convinced myself the comment was full of non-sense. However, I suffer and have suffered a few years with arthritis inflammation of the middle toe on each foot. For a joke, I bought a kilo of white raisins and soaked 1/2 a mason jar of raisins in Tanqueray Gin. After one week, I commenced consuming ten (10) raisins per day. After three (3) days the red inflamed swelling of my toes started to reduce. Within one week thereafter, the swelling, redness and pain in each toe was gone??????????????

    It is now 5 weeks, and there has been no recurrence of arthritis inflammation in my toes?!!!!! Do I believe that raisins soaked in gin relieve arthritis???? Geez, I am in total disbelief that this “Old Wives’ Tale” may actually work!!!!! I have no other explanation fro why my toes are no longer inflamed with arthritis. I am starting to convince myself that maybe there is something in this joint combination that actually has a helping affect against arthritis. Yes, I will continue to consume 10 gin soaked raisins per day.

  2. Janet

    I tried the golden raisins soaked in gin for a month. Didn’t relieve my arthritis at all.

  3. Tammy

    I have started the raisins soaked in gin remedy and it really does work.

  4. Linda
    Atlanta, Ga

    Do I need to refrigerate the gin soaked raisins and are dark raisins ok to use instead of the golden raisins?

  5. Mark
    Atlanta, GA

    Could it be that the alcohol is depressing the central nervous system and thereby decreasing the amount and intensity of pain signals being sent from the brain? It is well- known that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, therefore, possibly any form of alcohol would work as listed here. It has been known for many, many years that alcohol decreases pain intensity. During the civil war a few shots of whiskey were given before amputations to reduce pain. This was of course, before anesthesia was available.

  6. debbie

    I tried this, but sadly I had to stop; it gave me heartburn.

  7. Marta

    So is it safe to assume that it is one drop of gin poured (?) onto 15 raisins that is correct amount to use? I would like to try it on the pain and swelling in my hands.

    • Sherry

      You don’t pour gin onto a handful of raisins. I use dark raisins that have been saturated in Gordon’s Dry London Gin. Take a shallow bowl and cover the bottom with the raisins. Pour the gin on top until the top of the raisins are covered. You let the gin soak into the raisins. If you let them completely dry out, the alcohol will mostly evaporate. It is the juniper berries in the gin that are the anti-inflammatory ingredient. Cheap gin only has juniper flavoring. After the raisins are soaked, consume 9 of them a day. Don’t know why it is 9. It works for me.

  8. Robert
    Chapel Hill

    I have had a couple of bad bouts of gout over the last several years. I have also experienced several lesser flare ups which I have been able to abate with tart cherry extract pills, cider vinegar and lots of water. When the last one started I remembered gin soaked raisins. My wife and I have both had success with them over the years for various joint afflictions. After 2 days of gin soaked raisins the pain in my toe was completely gone. We now keep a jar in the fridge at all times.

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