According to our 2018 calculations, over 70 million Americans suffer from arthritis. The CDC says 54.4 million have been diagnosed with some form of joint inflammation. It is estimated another 20 million victims have never been diagnosed, but still have tenderness. Many find their knees are the first joints to suffer. When your knees hurt it is hard to go up stairs, walk or exercise regularly. This becomes a classic double bind. The more you sit the worse the problem becomes. And yet it is hard to keep moving when your knees ache. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can be irritating to the digestive tract. They can also raise blood pressure and increase the risk for a heart attack. That’s why home remedies and in particular the raisin remedy have so many devoted followers.
Will the Raisin Remedy Really Work?
Q. About two months ago I bought your booklet, Alternatives for Arthritis. I wanted to wait till I was sure it was the golden raisins and gin that stopped the pain in my left knee before contacting you again.
I had the cartilage removed from my knee around 1980. Since then, the knee has been very painful with all the arthritis that’s set in. For years I had all I could do to stand up if I was on my hands and knees. I needed something to grab onto to help lift myself up to my feet. Whenever there was a severe weather change it was very difficult to get around.
The last several weeks I’ve been without any pain. My knee hasn’t been without pain for quite a few years, so this is quite a dramatic improvement. Your booklet was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
Thank you for the information in your Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. Jim W.
A. Thanks for the testimonial, Jim. We have no idea why some people get such relief from the raisin remedy and others tell us that the gin-soaked raisins are worthless. We chalk it up to human variability. Most people have to wait anywhere from 30 to 60 days to experience any improvement.
But we did get this message some time ago from David:
“I’ve been suffering from terrible arthritis for more than a year, and I’m only 43. I had both knees arthroscopied a year ago, and then the symptoms spread over my entire body: fingers, knuckles, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, ankles.
“I tried the usual NSAIDS with little or no effect, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for six months, again with no effect. Three days ago my mom called and told me about the ‘raisins and gin’ approach. What the hell, I thought. I went out right away and bought yellow raisins and gin.
“For the past two and a half days, I haven’t needed to use a crutch; the pain is diminished tremendously throughout the body, and my mood has lifted. Is this a case of ‘mind over body’ like I’ve had before (without success), or does this really work this fast? It’s hard to believe that nine gin-soaked raisins per day work such miracles. I’ve spent much of the past year in bed, and am only able to work part-time on weekends! Should I believe that this is a reliable ‘cure,’and my life will get back to normal?”
We have no way of knowing whether David experienced long-lasting improvement with the raisin remedy. We know that people who have not achieved the desired benefit have gotten relief from some other quirky remedies. One that remains popular is grape juice and Certo (plant pectin).
Here’s Kent’s story:
“Yes, I know you have put information on the home remedy grape juice and pectin on your web site, and in your book Quick and Handy Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. My purpose in writing is to share my extraordinary results as an encouragement for you to keep spreading the word so others might benefit.
“My dosage varies a little, but I am not about to try to modify it considering the great results I enjoy. This is an anecdotal account of a home remedy that has made dramatic improvements in the management of my osteoarthritis that I share with others who have the same problem. I am now sixty years old . I have had no cartilage in my right knee since 1967.
“Over twenty five years ago my osteoarthritis was confirmed by x-ray. I have had an active life style: running (quit 15 years ago after running 34,582 miles.. lifetime); basketball (half court basketball, twice weekly, for forty years); walking (daily – one to three miles); etc. In the last several years my osteoarthritis symptoms had worsened, and I had worn a leg (Bledsoe Thruster) brace for over three years, and had used a cane for the last eighteen months. Pain was continuous, and the swelling of the knee was significant (usually more than 3 inches greater in circumference than my left knee); I had difficulty sleeping, and started considering a total knee replacement procedure sometime in 2002.
“In mid November 2001 a business associate mentioned that some friends had found relief from their osteoarthritis by using a home remedy. The remedy: each morning take two teaspoons, by mouth, of liquid pectin in four to six ounces of grape (not grapefruit) juice. The brand I use is by KRAFT FOODS, and carries the trade name CERTO. There is a ‘BALL’ brand as well. It is commonly used to make fruit jams, and jellies at home.
“My results: within eight (8) hours my pain/soreness diminished to almost zero; swelling was reduced significantly; and I slept all night without interruption for the first time in years; I stopped using the leg brace, and cane that first day. These positive results have continued every single day since starting the regimen.
“Note, I had made no other changes in medications, supplements, diet, activities, etc., and have continued the regimen faithfully every day. The only possible minimal side effect, which may or may not, be related to the remedy, has been minimal. If I walk for many miles during the day, by late evening I start to feel a burning sensation in my right thigh while walking or climbing stairs. It diminishes as soon as I get the weight off my legs. It has only been experienced about five times in the last year.
“I have no idea if I am one of a very lucky select few that can benefit from this remedy, or if it would have the same effect on most osteoarthritis affected persons. I wish it could be the subject of a controlled study.
“If I can be of any assistance in helping you or others take advantage of this regimen, please, contact me, or come to the Maverick Athletic Club in Arlington, Texas most Saturday mornings, and watch me play half court basketball with men half my age, and younger. My right knee is still ‘arthritic bone on arthritic bone’, but I have surprising mobility, and only very moderate discomfort.
“I am a very lucky guy!! Thank you.”
Certo & Grape Juice vs. the Raisin Remedy?
We cannot tell you why some people get benefit from Certo and grape juice and others prefer the raisin remedy. We also wonder whether combining the two would be synergistic, ie, better than either alone. No one has done the experiment as far as we can tell.
Kent’s message came in over a decade ago, so we doubt that he is still playing half court basketball with men half his age. But we sure are glad that he got his mobility back. Should you wish to learn more about these and dozens of other remedies for arthritis and other common conditions, we suggest either The Graedons’ Guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis or The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
And we would love to hear your story. How well do these approaches work for you? If one doesn’t work, does something else provide relief? What about combinations such as pomegranate or tart cherry juice, turmeric plus grape juice and Certo? And if these remedies don’t do the trick, we want to know that too. Share your story in the comment section below.