People with arthritis know that most remedies have a trade-off. Pain relievers like naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) might help a stiff knee, but they could also boost blood pressure or irritate the digestive tract. Home remedies have trade-offs, too. They frequently don’t work as fast as medications, and they may not be as strong. In some cases, they are less convenient because you have to mix or concoct them. Generally, however, home remedies like pectin in juice for joint pain have fewer side effects than drugs do. As a result, many people find them quite appealing. Here are two examples.
Stiff Knee Made It Hard to Put on Sock:
Q. I was having difficulty bending my right leg enough to put on my sock. In addition, I had to climb steps like a three year old, one step at a time. I had to use my arms to get up from sitting.
In desperation, I decided to try your home remedy of grape juice with Certo. I planned to give it a month. Within three days I was putting on my socks with no difficulty. Yesterday (less than a month since I began), I found myself going up stairs like an adult. I understand that nobody knows how this works, and I am a skeptic, but it works for me!
A. Many years ago a reader suggested Certo mixed into grape juice instead of gin-soaked raisins for joint pain. Certo is plant pectin used in home canning to thicken jams and jellies.
Research hints that ingredients in red grape juice have anti-inflammatory properties (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July, 2006). Researchers conducted studies in tissue culture and animals that demonstrated a native Taiwanese grape could alleviate a stiff knee due to arthritis (Journal of Medicinal Food, April 2014).
There are several recipes for the Certo/grape juice combination. You will find them and other home remedies in our Guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis. One variant calls for two teaspoons of Certo in three ounces of grape juice three times daily.
Must It Be Grape Juice?
Q. I read with interest the arthritis remedy with grape juice and Certo. Does Certo pectin need to be taken with grape juice, or can it be dissolved in any liquid? I have slightly high blood sugar and would prefer to not use the sweet juice. Are the antioxidant properties found in the juice necessary?
A. We have been hearing about the benefits of Certo in grape juice for decades, and the remedy appears to be considerably older than that. Because it is a home remedy, scientists have not studied it methodically.
We have relied on readers doing their own experiments to learn that powdered pectin appears to work as well as liquid Certo to soothe a stiff knee or a hurting hip. A few readers have also tested different juices, such as pomegranate instead of grape. Italian scientists have studied a combination of bee propolis, pomegranate and grape compounds to treat rheumatoid arthritis in mice (Molecules, May 11, 2020). Propolis is a resin bees collect from plants and use in repairing the hive. This combination product delayed onset of experimental joint inflammation and made it less severe.
One reader offered this testimonial:
“I’ve used Certo with tart cherry juice for years; grape juice is too sweet for me. That combination along with two glucosamine tablets a day has been very helpful for my arthritic pain.
“Recently, during an out-of-town trip, I was without these for three days. My arthritis was so bad I could barely move!”
We encourage you to check out the arthritis remedies and the tricks for getting powdered pectin into solution that you will find in Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.