Does Eating Gin-Soaked Raisins Help Relieve Arthritis?

Many people claim that eating gin-soaked raisins may help relieve arthritis pain.

According to proponents of this natural remedy, eating golden raisins that have been soaked in gin, also sometimes called “drunken raisins,” can reduce symptoms like pain, stiffness, and swelling.

However, while many swear by this folk remedy to help fight arthritis, others dismiss it as ineffective and anecdotal.

This article evaluates the evidence to determine whether eating gin-soaked raisins can help relieve arthritis.

Myth vs. science

While the origin of the idea that eating gin-soaked raisins reduces symptoms of arthritis is unclear, it’s believed to have been around for the past few decades.

In the 1990s, the natural remedy began gaining traction after radio broadcaster Paul Harvey mentioned it during one of his shows.

It has become particularly popular in recent years as an alternative treatment for those seeking a safe and natural way to relieve arthritis symptoms.

Currently, no research on the effectiveness of eating gin-soaked raisins for arthritis has been conducted.

That said, some test-tube studies have found that the juniper berries typically used to make gin could have anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial for the treatment of arthritis (1, 2, 3).

What’s more, one animal study showed that certain compounds extracted from juniper leaves decreased swelling and improved symptoms of arthritis in rats (4).

Furthermore, sulfur dioxide is also used to preserve the color, flavor, and quality of golden raisins (5).

Studies show that sulfur-containing compounds like methylsulfonylmethane may help reduce inflammation and relieve arthritis symptoms like stiffness and pain (6).

Other natural remedies like sulfur baths are also commonly used to manage arthritis symptoms (7, 8).

For this reason, it’s often theorized that the sulfur used to produce golden raisins may be responsible for any beneficial effects of gin-soaked raisins.

Still, more high quality studies are needed to determine whether gin-soaked raisins specifically may affect arthritis symptoms.

The idea that gin-soaked raisins could relieve arthritis is thought to have originated in the 1990s. Although no studies have investigated the natural remedy specifically, the anti-inflammatory effects of juniper and sulfur may be beneficial.

How much should you eat?

There are currently no official recommendations regarding exactly how many gin- soaked raisins you should consume per day.

However, most websites generally recommend eating 9 gin-soaked raisins, or about one spoonful, per day for best results.

Anecdotally, people say it may take at least 2 weeks before you notice a reduction in symptoms.

Some online sources also advise increasing the dosage to consume one spoonful twice daily if you don’t experience relief after several weeks.

It’s usually recommended to consume 9 raisins per day for several weeks to reduce symptoms of arthritis. Some websites also advise increasing your dosage to one spoonful twice daily, as needed.

Basic recipe

Gin-soaked raisins are easy to make at home.

To get started, place a handful of golden raisins in a jar or glass container and cover them with gin.

Be sure to use a variety of gin that has been distilled with juniper extract to maximize the potential benefits.

Next, secure the container with a non-metallic lid, or cover it with a cheesecloth.

Finally, store it in a cool, dry area and let the raisins soak. Once most of the gin has been absorbed, the raisins should be ready.

Keep in mind that this could take up to 3 weeks, depending on the amount of gin used and how you store your raisins.

You can make gin-soaked raisins at home by covering golden raisins with gin and allowing them to soak until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Science-based arthritis relief tips

Though there’s limited research on gin-soaked raisins, many other natural remedies may help manage your arthritis symptoms.

Here are a few alternative ways to relieve symptoms of arthritis:

  • Try meditation. Some studies have found that mindfulness meditation may decrease chronic pain, reduce symptoms of depression, and improve quality of life among people with arthritis and other conditions (9).
  • Practice yoga. According to one review of 13 studies, practicing yoga improved physical function, enhanced general well-being, and reduced symptoms in people with knee arthritis (10).
  • Exercise. Research suggests that adding regular physical activity to your routine could reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis (11).
  • Follow a plant-based diet. Not only are plant foods rich in antioxidants and important micronutrients, but some studies have found that plant-based diets could help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (12).
  • Use topical treatments. Several topical treatments could provide relief for arthritis symptoms, including products that contain compounds like diclofenac, capsaicin, and methyl salicylate (13, 14, 15).

Besides gin-soaked raisins, several other natural remedies can help provide relief from arthritis symptoms.

The bottom line

Although it’s unclear where the idea that gin-soaked raisins can help relieve symptoms of arthritis originated, it has become a popular natural remedy within the past few decades.

While no studies have investigated gin-soaked raisins specifically, certain ingredients in gin and golden raisins, such as juniper and sulfur, may help reduce inflammation.

Several other natural remedies may also help you manage your arthritis symptoms, including meditation, yoga, dietary modifications, physical activity, and topical treatments.