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Will Raisins Solve Two Problems at Once?

Have you wondered whether a single remedy can solve two problems instead of just one? Raisins might cut down on nighttime urination and reduce joint pain.

People can get pretty creative with home remedies. One reader has noticed similar recommendations for two completely different conditions: joint pain, and frequent nighttime urination. The question is whether the same remedy will solve two problems at the same time.

Raisin Remedies for Two Problems:

Q. I have heard about taking nine raisins soaked in gin for osteoarthritis. Now I read that eating raisins will help reduce bathroom trips at night.

Can it be the same raisins? Then I can manage two problems at once.

No Research on Raisin Remedies:

A. Both of these approaches are home remedies that many readers have used and appreciated. We have not been able to find any scientific studies on either use for raisins, although some laboratory and animal studies show that grape-derived compounds can reduce inflammation (Journal of Medicinal Food, April 2014; Phytomedicine, Feb. 15, 2014). 

One species of grape native to Asia has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries (Phytomedicine, Oct. 1, 2018). Practitioners there have used it to treat edema due to rheumatoid arthritis, liver and kidney problems and a syndrome of frequent, low-volume urination. Doctors call this last symptom “stranguria.” We doubt that it is the underlying problem that gets most readers out of bed multiple times a night, but it might be relevant for some of them.

Using Raisins to Treat Two Problems:

You could try eating some raisins before you brush your teeth at bedtime to see if that reduces nighttime bathroom trips. The tooth-brushing is essential to keep raisin residue from causing tooth decay overnight. This experiment will also allow you to gauge whether you are getting any benefit against joint pain. Unfortunately, we do not know whether there is any practical difference between golden raisins and dark raisins. If someone does a personal n-of-1 experiment, we will be very interested in learning the results.

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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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  • Tsai C-F et al, "Anti-inflammatory effects of Vitis Thunbergii Var. Taiwaniana on knee damage associated with arthritis." Journal of Medicinal Food, April 2014. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2013.2914
  • Mossalayi MD et al, "Grape polyphenols and propolis mixture inhibits inflammatory mediator release from human leukocytes and reduces clinical scores in experimental arthritis." Phytomedicine, Feb. 15, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.08.015
  • Chen Q et al, "Vitis Amurensis Rupr: A review of chemistry and pharmacology." Phytomedicine, Oct. 1, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2017.08.013
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