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Australians Search for Golden Raisins

Q. I am keen to try gin-soaked raisins for arthritis but cannot locate any place here in Australia to buy golden raisins. No one, from supermarkets to health stores to grape growers to the Department of Agriculture, can tell me if anyone in Australia even produces them.
The majority of places I’ve contacted won’t even respond to my queries. It’s been suggested that I try sultanas, but they have not been treated with sulphur dioxide as golden raisins have. Can anyone tell me where in this country I can buy golden raisins with sulphur?

A. You are quite correct that Australian sultanas, which come from Thompson seedless grapes, do not normally contain sulfites so you can’t buy “golden raisins” there. This preservative is used in the U.S. to keep them light-colored. Perhaps Australian regulators keep sulfites out of sultanas because some individuals are so sensitive to this preservative that they develop a dangerous allergic reaction if exposed to tiny quantities.
Some people feel that raisins without sulfites also work: “It is NOT necessary to use only golden raisins. When I first heard about this remedy, golden raisins were not mentioned, so I have been eating 9 gin-soaked dark raisins a day with success. I have found that my knees don’t swell and I can even get up from the floor without hanging onto something.”

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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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