The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Grape Juice with Certo Make Feet Feel Better?

Drinking grape juice with Certo may help alleviate the persistent heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Don't forget stretching as well!

Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tough tissue on the sole of the foot, is a drag. The heel pain, though persistent, is especially strong in the morning and can make it difficult to exercise or even walk around to get dressed. Usually it is less troublesome during the day, but going for a run or standing for long periods at work can aggravate the problem. What can be done? Some readers are enthusiastic about grape juice with Certo.

Grape Juice with Certo for Plantar Fasciitis:

Q. My plantar fasciitis was off the hook painful. Shoe inserts just made it worse. I started one of your remedies: 1 tablespoon Certo in 1 cup of Welch’s Concord Grape Juice.

Within a few days I started experiencing relief. I now walk five to eight miles a day with very little discomfort. In addition, I no longer need to take pain relievers for this problem.

A. Other readers have reported success with this approach to plantar fasciitis. We’re glad it was so helpful. Here is another question about grape juice with Certo as a remedy for foot pain:

Will Grape Juice with Certo Ease Foot Pain?

Q. You have written in your column about using grape juice and Certo to relieve plantar fasciitis. I have chronic gout and peripheral neuropathy in my right foot and I want to try this cocktail to see if I can get relief.

How much Certo do I put into what quantity of grape juice? I hope you can give me the recipe to ease foot pain.

The Certo and Grape Juice Recipe:

A. The classic Certo and grape juice recipe was developed as a home remedy for arthritis. People use two teaspoons of Certo in three ounces of purple grape juice three times daily. Some find that one tablespoon of Certo in eight ounces of grape juice taken once daily is more convenient and works just as well. You might want to try both dosing regimens to see if you like one better than another.

Grape Juice Against Gout:

It is quite possible that the grape juice will help against gout; a French study many decades ago found that grape juice could help the body jettison excess uric acid (Loeper & Tisseyre, Le Progres Medical, Nov. 24, 1960). This has not been studied much, but it was confirmed by a mouse study 13 years ago (Wang et al, Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, May, 2004). Uric acid is the compound that can precipitate in crystals and cause the excruciating joint pain recognized as gout.

What Is Certo?

Home cooks use the liquid plant pectin called Certo to thicken jams and jellies. It can be found in the canning section of your grocery.

Some readers have asked about powdered pectin products such as Pomona’s Universal Pectin. It can be tricky to get this to dissolve in grape juice, but it appears to have helpful anti-inflammatory activity that can alleviate joint pain.

To learn more about this and other natural approaches to easing inflammation we recommend our online resource, the Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. 

You can also watch a video in which we demonstrate how to mix up grape juice with Certo.

An Unexpected Cause of Foot Pain:

Linda in Kerrville, TX, reported:

“Some blood pressure meds caused me extreme foot pain. Doctors had never heard of this. I changed meds several times and now I am foot pain-free at last.

“The pain may come months or weeks after beginning the meds. The pain may be on top of the foot or on the bottom, front or back. One foot only may be affected. The blood pressure meds were the cause for my pain.”

Other Helpful Remedies:

Grape juice with Certo is not the only treatment you may want to try for persistent foot pain. Other nondrug approaches to dealing with gout include celery seeds (Apium graveolens) or tart cherries (Singh, Shah & Edwards, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 1, 2016). Experts frequently recommend a low-purine diet to help prevent gout flare-ups.

Stretching the foot, especially in the morning before rising, can help control plantar fasciitis pain. The idea is to pull the toes toward the knee. You might need a willing confederate (such as a patient spouse) to help you with this before you get out of bed. Once you are up, you can do it yourself by standing halfway on a step and lowering the painful heel below the level of the toes that are supporting you. One foot at a time works fine.

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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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in the video in my comment below, plantar fasciitis is mentioned between 8-9 minutes when discussing hip issues.

Plantars Fasciitis was a big deal in my life. I would tape a can to the floor board and push on it while driving to work. I heard of a yoga pose that supposedly helped. Then one day I found some orthotics with high and strong arch support, and my Plantars went away! The orthotics were indeed very tall and hard. I also stopped wearing moccasins to work.

My patients for over 15 years, and I can attest that they offer the best solution for people with sensitive feet, including those with foot pain, diabetes and arthritis. Orthofeets shoes are designed with unique ergonomic features that cannot be found in any other brand. My patients love them, and in fact I wear them myself daily, as they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.

Can you use the low sugar grape juice instead of regular grape juice? Do you continue to take it every day or once it feels better you can stop taking the mixture? Thanks.

I would like to know if the grape juice itself is necessary. I’m diabetic and want to avoid the high carbs. Could I use the pectin in plain water or in water that’s flavored with a zero-carb water-enhancer?

We don’t know if that will work. If you try it, please let us know how it goes. Grape juice does have anti-inflammatory activity on its own.

I had horrible plantar faciitis which has gotten better, but not all the way. Very much walking is out. I’d like to try this but can’t have acid foods like grape juice or most fruit juices. Can the certo be taken with something else, like water with a splash of baby apple juice? Or does it need the acid to dissolve?

Does it have to be grape juice – doesn’t that have a lot of sugar?

Has anyone heard of developing knee pain after taking Move Free (glucosamine & chondroiton)? I was taking it to prevent joint pain but now my knee has flared up when I hadn’t had any problems in several years.

Does the juice need to be “Grape” or can it be the “Tart Cherry Juice” that is recommended for arthritis? What is the theory behind the choice of grape?

Grape juice has anti-inflammatory activity, though we don’t know if that is why people started using grape juice. We don’t know if tart cherry juice would work. If you try it, please let us know.

I had acute plantar fasciitis and cured it in less than a month, completely. I just did a few muscle stretching exercises that my doctor had recommended, and then it started to get better. At that point I got and wore a foot brace when I went to bed. I only used it for three nights and the pain was completely gone and so far has never come back. I sure hope this helps someone, like it did me.

I am in my early 70’s. About 18 months ago my knee began to hurt. Sharp pain inner right knee. MRI was done. Frayed/worn medial meniscus with some wear on the bone itself. Also arthritis was present. I stopped running and even stopped extended walks. Everyday activities were painful and at times caused me to limp.

Read about Certo and grape juice. Read rave reviews about this combo. The active ingredient seemed to be the pectin. However there was concern about the sodium benzoate. So I ordered organic apple pectin caplets from Swansons. Took the pectin for 2 months. ABSOLUTELY NO IMPROVEMENT!

I was very disappointed but could not understand the rave reviews, especially from some people who were worse than me.

If the pectin did not help maybe it was another ingredient in the Certo. Went through the list. All were neutral except for Sodium Benzoate(NaB). Turns out NaB is derived from cinnamon and, among other things, is an inflammation fighter. It is even used as a medication for urea cycle problems.

I took the Certo/grape combo 2X daily. Pain was down by half in 2 days and gradually diminished to the point where I am running my 5 miles pain free.

However Certo is expensive and goopy and hard to mix in the juice.
So I found NaB powder on the web for about $9 a pound. I only use what I call a 3 finger pinch (index, thumb and middle finger) per day and it can be added to any beverage or food. A pound will last a lifetime.

Some references: (These do not specifically address arthritis but show effectiveness in other inflammatory diseases)

There are many more references to be found on the web.
Read, research, and read some more. Make you own determination.

I have had some diabetic foot neuropathy for 10 years. Then at 74 my feet had finally had enough, I guess. After many years of bad shoes I suddenly began to have serious foot pain. For instance, when I got up in the morning I couldn’t walk, even gingerly, without a lot of pain. VERY soon I thought I would need to be in a wheel chair. . . or at least on crutches.

A doctor got me fitted with custom insoles for my shoes(custom/orthotic), and after a few weeks the pain had almost disappeared. Two years later that simple cure is still working for me!

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