Have you looked at the side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) lately? Drugs like diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen, meloxicam, piroxicam and naproxen can cause high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, atrial fibrillation (AFib), fluid retention, heart failure, indigestion, stomach ulcers, perforation of the intestines, kidney and liver damage. It’s hardly any wonder that people would like less dangerous alternatives. That may be why gin-soaked raisins is a perennial favorite of readers of our syndicated newspaper column.
A lot of people want to know how to make this arthritis remedy. You would be amazed at the number of questions people have about this seemingly simple treatment. Here are just a few of the questions we get:
The Gin-Soaked Raisin Remedy:
Q. Do you have a recipe for gin-soaked raisins? How much gin is used for every pound of raisins?
My mother has joint pain and it would help her a lot to have some more detailed information!
A. To prepare gin-soaked raisins, start with golden raisins.
Here are some very common questions:
How Much Gin?
Put them in a shallow bowl and pour in just enough gin to barely cover them.
How Long Do They Sit?
Allow the raisins and gin to stand uncovered (or covered with a towel to keep out dust) until the gin has nearly completely evaporated. The raisins will still be very moist. This may take from two days to more than a week, depending on environmental conditions.
How Many Gin-Soaked Raisins to Take?
Once the raisins are ready, store them in a tightly closed container. Refrigeration is not necessary. The “dose” is nine (delicious) raisins daily.
We hope your mother finds them helpful. Be sure to watch our video (above) on gin-soaked raisins as a home remedy for arthritis to get more details on the procedure for making this recipe.
Why can’t you eat more than 9? What happens if you do eat more?
Many people expect very specific instructions and answers like the question above. Please remember that these are not scientifically tested pharmaceuticals that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is mostly trial and error and grandmothers’ wisdom at work. We do not think anything bad would happen if you ate 10 raisins…or even a handful. Whether 20 would work better (or less well) than 9 is anyone’s guess.
Can I use any other alcohol? Why Gin in particular?
The original recipe was for gin and golden raisins. We suspect that the juniper in “regular” gin might be contributing something special. That said, some people have reported benefit from sloe gin.
Golden raisins soaked in gin were ineffective against my arthritis pain, but raisins in sloe gin were immediately and totally effective. Thanks for the suggestion.”
Regular gin is flavored with juniper berries, while sloe gin is flavored with sloe berries from the blackthorn bush, which was traditionally used for digestive disorders. This isn’t the first time we have heard that sloe gin with raisins may be helpful against arthritis pain. Other people have substituted vodka for gin. Those who shun alcohol report that vinegar and golden raisins can be helpful.
Stories from Readers:
Dinny in Tampa, Florida has rheumatoid arthritis. Her story reminds us of Betsy White. She was one of the first people to report great success with what she call the “gin raisin remedy.” It took Betsy about two months to experience improvement. Dinny got relief a lot faster:
My friend was recently diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and I have it as well. She heard about this golden raisins and gin recipe and passed it on to me. Her swollen knee got better and her hand pain is gone. I had an RA flare and within two days it was gone. It has made a believer in me. Thank you.
Beth in Canton, Georgia offers an interesting twist on the raisin remedy:
I have eaten 9 gin-soaked raisins a day for three years and have no joint pain at age 72. Don’t use organic raisins. They’re not exposed to sulfur dioxide gas (sulphites) before drying like Sun Maid. Isn’t that why Sun Maid raisins must be used in the gin-soaked raisin (GSR) recipe-“sulphites react with the gin to make an herbal tincture,” right?
“Bombay Sapphire Gin has the most anti-inflammatory ingredients. GSRs are famous for being a highly anti-inflammatory pain relieving food that doesn’t cause stomach, liver or kidney damage as pharmaceutical drugs do. I’ll never stop eating them daily.”
Here are some other stories from visitors to this website:
I’m still on the raisins and love this home remedy. Not only did it completely rid my knees of RA [rheumatoid arthritis] but now the RA is gone from my left shoulder….amazing.
“I have given this information to ALL my doctors and they listen with interest. I give them my card with the www.PeoplesPharmacy.com web site and they tell me they will check on it. We read your articles in the Palm Beach Post. Keep up your very good work.” -H.
“I always look forward to your column in the LA Times. We were visiting family up in Oregon and my sister-in-law showed me your book.
“She tried the raisins steeped in gin for an arthritic shoulder and it worked wonders for her. While visiting, I tried the ‘magic raisins’ for my aching knee and was delighted the pain disappeared after two days’ dose of raisins. I would like to buy a copy of your book. Please tell me how to obtain it.” -Georges. C.
Thanks for the report Georges. Here is a link to our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It has lots of other arthritis treatments along with remedies for dozens of common ailments.
Hi, I have tried gin and raisins for arthritis and have had great success. I am now pain free and no longer require any medication. Why do you need to use the golden raisins? They are more expensive and sometimes are hard to find in the store. Please let know if the dark raisins work just as well as the golden ones.” Gerry
We cannot say why golden raisins are the preferred approach. Some folks report that dark raisins work just as well. Others tell us that vodka works instead of gin. And a few people have substituted apple cider vinegar for gin or vodka. Not everyone gets benefit, but we are constantly amazed at how many people report success with this approach.
Would you like to watch a video of us making the Gin-Soaked Raisins? Here is a link:
Please let us know if this makes sense. Have you ever tried this home remedy? If so, please share your experience in the comment section below. If you like home remedies you will love our book from National Geographic: The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. If you have arthritis, you may also find our new book, Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis of great value. It has lots of nondrug approaches for dealing with joint pain.