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

Q. 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 hugly stressed and have a flare up. But I recover in a day.

I am a support/contact person for The CFIDS [chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome] Association of America based in North Carolina and I am in Oregon. I have recommended this remedy for FM [fibromyalgia], Arthritis and 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 and slept 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.

I know all this because I and my 91 year old mother have taken these for 15+ years. She takes them for arthritis and now so do I as I have that, too, but the raisins keep right on working. If you have doubts, ask ANY liquor store about the people who come in to buy the gin for this exact reason. This is NOT a scam or trick. Does Paul Harvey lie (since deceased)? No, he doesn’t. You can also check this out on They call it “undetermined” as scientifically they can not, beyond a doubt prove it, but they also say it is the juniper berries.

Many people deserve to be helped by this remedy that works!

A. Wow… that is quite a testimonial. We have been writing about the gin-raisin remedy in our newspaper column for nearly 20 years. Although some people tell it is worthless, others are as enthusiastic as you are.

For those who do get benefit, we’re not sure it is advisable to let a week go by without the raisins. Some folks tell us that after a day or two the pain starts to return.

Anyone who is not familiar with the recipe, we have prepared a Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis with lots of details about gin-soaked raisins plus FAQs (frequently asked questions).

Share your own gin-raisin story below. Did it work? Was it worthless? Did you like or hate the taste? Let us know your experience so others can benefit.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Kathy

    Do you have to let the gin evaporate? I’ve been soaking mine for a year or so now….

  2. Louise
    New Zealand

    Does anybody know if this will work for dogs?

    • Kathy

      DO NOT GIVE TO DOGS!! For some reason raisins and grapes are toxic to dogs. I wonder if you soaked a different kind of fruit, since most are saying it is the juniper berries in the gin that are helping…..

  3. Soj

    Look up “placebo effect”.

    Fibromyalgia is quite troublesome enough without dragging weird folk remedies into it.

    Cary NC

    Do I need to dry raisins after soaking them with gin? Is is only for taste? Thank you.

  5. Sue R

    I must have used too much gin because the raisins didn’t soak up all the gin and because it is so expensive I drained it off and put it in a jar. Can I use this for the next batch of raisins?

  6. Bill

    I read the comments about raisins & gin. I bought some golden raisins today & the gin is in my liquor cabinet

  7. Helen M

    Unless you are in a very damp climate, two weeks seems to be somewhat excessive. Additionally, I don’t think I would be interested in raisins that were exposed to dust for that length of time. A light cover will protect the raisins while allowing the alcohol to evaporate. Here it is very dry in the summer, my raisins are done in three days; in the damp winter two more days beyond that. Ca gold raisins are available nation-wide in the states. In the UK, I would check the label on the sultanas to make sure they do not have added sugar. Too much sugar promotes inflammation; apparently in the golden raisins the unrefined sugar they contain is part of the process whereby they work.

  8. Vb

    I was told to completely cover the raisins and let it stand for two weeks. Not sure if the two weeks is necessary though.
    I was told to take about 10 pieces of raisin (comes out about a teaspoonful) a day, every day.

  9. VB

    I’m 42 years old and have arthritis in both thumbs that has gotten a lot worse the past few weeks. It is to the point when taking the cap off a bottle is an issue. I’m terrified that I won’t be able to do my job as a pediatric nurse. I’m willing to try anything at this point. Started the raisin/gin treatment today, will post my experience as I go.
    By the way I love the taste, I even had a little extra. Can’t hurt to jump start, right?! ;))

    • LW

      VB is there a verdict? I just started. I don’t have specific pain points, kinda all over, kinda cuz I’m old :) But the hands, wrists are misshapen a bit an knees and hips hurt. Hoping it works.

  10. Ch

    Does it matter if you take them in the morning or night?

  11. M

    Tanqueray in the green bottle is made from juniper berries and worked a miracle for me.
    My pain was at a 9 or 8. Could hardly walk.
    Covered the raisins.
    Next day did not wait for alcohol to evaporate completely.
    Too two tablespoons at night.
    Next day, pain at 4.
    Slowly getting better.
    Now at about 2 as it is still noticed.

  12. N.U.

    I have the Gin and raisins. Do I completely cover the raisins? How many each day? And how long does it take to work?
    Thank you

  13. Abigail

    Recommend researching Golden Raisins on Wikipedia….

  14. Helen M

    I use a corningware pan to mix my raisins and gin. The gin cannot be neutral spirits; so no cheap gin. Tho, before I knew that, I was using a middle of the road gin and it worked. Now I wonder if this gin was made with juniper berries too. I am back to Tanqueray, but I no longer soak my other dried berries and giant raisins in it, still use the cheaper gin for those. They were always part of the mix because of their lovely taste, not for therapeutic reasons.
    Cover the raisins with the gin and put the cover on the pan. The cover is not air tight so the alcohol will evaporate. I stir twice a day. As the raisins plump up, the alcohol evaporates. Since I like the taste of gin, I begin taste testing as soon as they are plump. Once the gin taste is gone, the raisins are ready. I then put them, and any syrup, into a lock and lock container. I eat 9 a day unless they are exceedingly small. Then I count two of the tiny ones as one.
    Before I began the raisins, about ten years ago, tho I prefer to sleep on my side, I no longer could, my hips felt like knives were cutting into them. With the raisins, I am able to be a side sleeper again. If I run out of raisins, the pain begins to return, a definite impetus to drop other things and mix up a batch of raisins. I am now using half a pound bag at a time. Unfortunately, I have found no relief from my fibro pain; however, I have tried a lot of stuff for it and nothing works. Except opioid pain meds.
    PS Make sure the raisins are CA golden raisins. My sister once mistakenly bought imported raisins, which contained additional sugar, and lost the benefit. I asked about her technique, then asked her to find the raisin box. When she went back to CA raisins, most of the benefit returned. For some reason, not all. However, she had tremendous pain relief at the start and perhaps that would have had a slight waning in any case. She was a big woman; therefore used 13 raisins a day.

  15. Jody

    The lady at my local liquor store told me to get BEEFEATERS GIN. Beefeaters is DISTILLED (not infused) with JUNIPER berries and the juniper berries work with the sulfur in the golden raisins. I had relief after 3 days. Now I tell anyone who will listen but not before I tell them to do their research/google.

  16. FK

    My understanding is that sultanas are the same as golden raisins.

  17. jch

    In the UK, golden raisins are called sultanas.

  18. Eliza

    Does she mean the Arthritis Foundation? I’ve never heard of the American Arthritis Association…

  19. Ebm

    Judy, if you cover the raisins with gin, it takes a week or more to absorb the liquid. By that time the alcohol has evaporated. Same when you cook with it which is much faster. Weigh the benefits, even some liquid meds and remedies contain some alcohol (herb tinctures). Think of it as The Recipe the elderly sisters distilled on The Waltons.

  20. Judy

    What about those of us who don’t use alcohol for religious reasons? Is there any other way that works to use this remedy?

  21. Rita

    How much of each do you use and how long do you let the raisins soak?

  22. JB

    Do you cover raisins with gin and put in fridge or leave out?

  23. cb

    Must use distilled gin won’t work. Any brand that is distilled works. But realize it doesn’t work the same for everyone, just like a prescription drug.

  24. Barbara

    I also add crushed juniper berries (from the spice and herb dept. of grocery stores) to the gin and raisin mix. And I cook with juniper berries. I think it is the juniper berries that help and I no longer take the gin and raisin mix every day and may stop it to see if the pain relief continues.
    Careful Barbara,
    Too much juniper can be toxic!

  25. lb

    I am interested in starting the gin/raisins protocol. Please elaborate as to the amount of raisins at a “serving”, whether it is more then one serving per day, as in Am and/or PM, and if it matters what type of raisins are used, such as currents, golden etc. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you
    People’s Pharmacy response: 9 golden raisins a day, soaked in gin.

  26. Cindy

    Gin-soaked raisins – the 17 year old that works with and for me at times told me that he now takes them regularly. I gave him a sample – a very kindly gift to friends, by the way. He recently had a crash on his little motorcycle. He was motivated by the pain to try the raisins and is now a true believer. Oddly, I got away from taking the spoonful myself. I mentioned to him about how swollen one of my knees was and my ankle also gets swollen. He said, G-s R, remember? Within a day there was improvement, not just in the pain but in the swelling of my knee.

  27. Julie713

    I thought the recipe for gin-soaked raisins used sloe gin (a liqueuer made from juniper berries), not a dry gin like Gordon’s or Tanqueray.
    Did the photo editor mess up or is any type of gin okay?
    People use both sloe gin and “regular” gin in the recipe. Most folks use standard gin, though.

  28. Kevin B.

    Does anyone know where I can get Golden Raisins in the Uk and is Gordon’s Gin the best Gin or does it not matter the type of gin?
    I also have tennis elbow inflammation in main extensor tendon near the elbow. I have broken both 4th and 5th long hand bones about 20 years ago and the hand is now starting to ache.
    Thanks, Kevin

  29. Kevin B.

    Hi does anyone know where I can buy the Golden Raisins in the Uk?

  30. DK

    What brand of gin? I read that some types of gin doesn’t work.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.