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Are Gin-Soaked Raisins Safe?

Q. My question regards gin-soaked raisins. If a person takes a medication, in my case Toprol-XL, and is not supposed to drink alcoholic beverages because of that, is it harmful to eat nine little raisins daily?

I surely hope not, as I’ve been using those raisins for several years with great success. If I get lazy about it and don’t use them for two or three weeks, my knee pains come back.

Should I tell my doctor about the raisins? I’m not trying to hide it, but I just never think to ask him when I’m in his office. I would hate to give up my raisins.

A. Metoprolol (Toprol-XL) and other beta blockers such as atenolol and propranolol may interact with alcohol by lowering blood pressure too much. This is usually associated with alcoholic beverages such as a glass or two of wine.

The amount of alcohol in nine raisins (the correct dose) is one drop. It is unlikely that this much will create an interaction with your metoprolol.

We are sending you our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis with information on how to make gin-soaked raisins and answers to frequently asked questions. It is important to allow the gin to evaporate fully before consuming the raisins. Let your doctor know you are using this remedy.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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