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How to Substitute Powdered Pectin in Arthritis Remedy

Some readers who have tried Certo in grape juice to ease their joint pain would like to use powdered pectin instead. It may be harder, but it is do-able.

Because arthritis is so common, people have invented dozens if not scores of home remedies. Scientists have not done studies on most of these approaches, but that won’t stop people from trying them. One of the most popular is “Purple Pectin,” aka Certo in grape juice. However, some people find the liquid pectin in Certo hard to handle. They ask if they can use powdered pectin instead. One reader also suggests a substitution for grape juice.

A Slightly Different Remedy with Powdered Pectin in Juice:

Q. My right knee has bone grating on bone. To alleviate the pain, I tried a cortisone shot and then a series of hyaluronic gel shots. I got no real relief.

Then I started using liquid Certo in grape juice. Liquid Certo is costly and messy, and grape juice is too sweet. However, I found an antioxidant juice containing tart cherry, pomegranate, red grape, purple carrot, cranberry and blueberry. I add a heaping teaspoon of powdered fruit pectin to three ounces of juice every morning.

Now my knees are feeling pretty good. They’re not perfect, but I haven’t needed knee braces or even a CBD roll-on.

Here’s an added bonus: my cholesterol dropped 20 points! My doctor never heard of this remedy but encouraged me to keep it up.

A. Fruit pectin has been shown to counteract inflammation as well as lower cholesterol (Fitoterapia, Oct. 2020).  We’re glad you found an effective, affordable way to manage your knee pain.

Can You Substitute Powdered Pectin for Certo?

Q. I have been using the pectin/grape juice remedy for joint pain, and it is helping. I do have a question about the formula. If I cannot find liquid Certo, can I use the same measurement for powdered pectin? In other words, is a tablespoon of dry pectin the same dosage as a tablespoon of liquid Certo?

A. Home cooks use both types of pectin to get their jams and preserves to jell. The proper quantities of these forms of pectin differ for making jams and jellies. Consequently, we suspect they would also differ for this home remedy to ease painful joints.

It appears that two teaspoons of Pomona’s Universal Pectin (powdered) will jell approximately the same quantity of fruit as one pouch of liquid Certo. Each pouch contains three fluid ounces (6 tablespoons). This means that one-third teaspoon of powdered pectin would be about equivalent to a tablespoon of liquid pectin. Of course, since we are talking about a home remedy, it may not be necessary to measure as carefully as you would when cooking. (Most measuring spoon sets don’t have a third-teaspoon measure.)

Powdered pectin doesn’t dissolve in juice as readily as Certo does, so you may need to shake it vigorously or put it in a blender. You can learn more about Certo and grape juice and other remedies in our eGuide to Alternatives for Arthritis. (Don’t plan on printing this online resource. It is too long.)

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Some people have found pectin in purple grape juice helpful for other types of pain besides arthritis. We have heard from readers who have tried this versatile remedy for plantar fasciitis. This condition produces foot pain that is most noticeable first thing in the morning. Sufferers describe the foot as exquisitely tender for the first several steps upon arising. It may also interfere with walking and running later in the day.

Certo and Grape Juice for Plantar Fasciitis:

Q. Certo and grape juice worked for me. I had terrible plantar fasciitis and had stopped exercising completely for a year. I’d also tried foot exercises and vitamins, but nothing helped. Taking Certo in grape juice every day completely cured my foot pain in two and a half weeks!

Purple Pectin Helped Foot Pain:

A. We first heard about combining Certo (liquid plant pectin used to make jams and jellies) with grape juice about 20 years ago. Most people report that this combination we dub “purple pectin” eases their arthritis pain.

You are the first reader to suggest that this formula could be beneficial for plantar fasciitis. This painful condition is caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot. Usually heel pain is most acute upon arising, and sometimes it helps to flex the foot, stretching the toes toward the knee, before getting out of bed.

Grape Juice for Inflammation:

The compounds in purple grape juice can reduce inflammation in recreational runners (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, Sep., 2015).  Test-tube research backs up the anti-inflammatory effect of anthocyanins from grapes (Food & Function, Apr., 2015). Scientists have also conducted experiments in laboratory rats that demonstrate grape compounds inhibit inflammation (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Feb. 10, 2019).

There are a number of recipes for this home remedy. One of the most popular calls for one tablespoon of Certo in 6 to 8 ounces of Concord grape juice. You can learn more about Certo & grape juice for joint pain as well as other remedies for plantar fasciitis in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

Will Powdered Pectin in Grape Juice Help Plantar Fasciitis?

If you wish, you could also experiment by adding powdered pectin to purple grape juice, as suggested above. Please let us know how well it works for your plantar fasciitis.

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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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