Welcome to the Weekend: Raisins and Gin at Breakfast?

Several months ago, the arthritis in my thumb began inching toward excruciating. My doctor prescribed a hand brace and copious amounts of Advil to bring down the swelling and the results have not been terrific. Some days my entire hand burns and I have trouble using it at all so I have decided to try an urban myth that promises great relief.

I know that cortisone shots will relieve inflammation and reduce pain, but they also degenerate the thumb joint, so I have not gone that route.

Gin soaked raisins on A Well Styled Life

Last month a friend recommended something she’s been using that I thought sounded insane. The theory is that a daily regimen of ingesting gin-soaked raisins will help cure arthritis. I thought she was kidding but a quick look around the internet turns up many recipes and testimonials about its effectiveness.

It sounded so unlikely I checked it on Snopes, the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.  Surprisingly, Snopes could not disprove it so I decided to give it a shot!

Here is a recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup golden raisins (do not substitute for any other dried fruit or color of raisin)
  • 1 -2-cup gin (enough to just cover the raisins)

Gin soaked raisin recipe on A Well Styled Life

Directions

  1. Before you get started, make sure to read the label of your gin to check that it is made from or includes juniper berries. This is critical!
  2. Put the raisins in a shallow glass container and pour enough gin into it to just cover the raisins.
  3. Cover the container with cheesecloth and allow to stand until the raisins absorb the gin and the remaining liquid evaporates, about one week.
  4. Each day, eat NINE of these “drunken” raisins.

I let my raisins sit for 2 weeks, not to make them stronger but because they looked gross. Some of my raisins didn’t plump up. They actually looked pretty nasty so I assume they were too dried out to start with and I tossed them.Gin soaked raisins on A Well Styled Life

I’m now eating 9 drunken raisins each morning and will keep you posted. Gin soaked raisins are an acquired taste but if they help the pain, you’ll be the second to know.

How do you treat your arthritis? I’m anxious to learn anything you can share!!

 

Let’s talk about another kind of therapy. Retail therapy! There’re some awesome sales this weekend that I’ve linked below. I’m taking advantage of the Dermstore one because they carry all my cruelty-free sun protection and organic products.

Loft is giving 50% off select merchandise, no code necessary.

J.Crew is offering 50% off sale with the code YAYSALE.

Saks is offering 10% off sitewide including beauty and fragrance with the code SAKS10OFF.

Dermstore is giving 25% off sitewide with the code HAPPY18. This is my new favorite place to buy skin and sun care products. They seem to have everything and now it’s 25% off!

 

We’re organizing our “stuff” to take and sell at an antique fair tomorrow, so wish me luck!!

 

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Affiliate links in this post may generate income for AWSL.

 

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80 Comments

  1. Jamie
    August 5, 2017 / 4:39 am

    I remember hearing about this years ago from Paul Harvey on the radio. Lets us know how it works.

  2. August 5, 2017 / 4:50 am

    HI Jennifer, I read that James Coburn suffered a lot from arthritis and that the only things he thought helped him was MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). I am now trying it 0 three pills a day with meals. Check it out on the Web…. good luck!

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      I just read about it Georgia. That and a cream form. I’ll be checking it out. Thank you!!

  3. Cynthia LeBlanc
    August 5, 2017 / 4:55 am

    Tumeric, both fresh in morning smoothies, and in supplements has helped tremendously for me. I also add fresh ginger into my smoothie. The aching in my feet and hands are gone. I also have a particular juice that’s full of anti inflammatory stuff.

    • Anita
      August 5, 2017 / 6:22 am

      What is the inflammatory drink?

      • August 5, 2017 / 8:57 pm

        I would love to know too!

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Tumeric is so popular with my readers! I’m going to have to do mire than just cook with it.

  4. Sharon
    August 5, 2017 / 4:58 am

    Jennifer, I’m actually having surgery on my hand on Mon. They are doing carpal tunnel surgery AND removing my arthritic thumb joint and replacing it with a tendon from my arm. My dr, is part of a world renowned orthopedic facility (Andrews Institute), so they know what they are doing. I have total faith! Good luck with your gin and raisins!

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Good luck Sharon! Please let us know how it goes. Sending good thoughts your way.

  5. Julie Fkavin
    August 5, 2017 / 5:00 am

    Jennifer. It sounds wacky but it’s probably not! The Queen Mother did great ….l😜 Gin was her staple and she lived a very long and merry life!

    Personally I was horrified to find the slight bulge in my right hand thumb and the defined bone on the inside top of my right foot ( I had always thought it rather elegant….like well defined…)

    .were early signs of arthritis. Really? No!

    I have found taking turmeric with milk and cinnamon with honey before bed and tumeric tablets in the morning has helped a lot with the inflammation.

    But hey, if gin helps …..bring it onxxx

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:01 pm

      I’m with you Julie!! Could you please share your recipe for the Tumeric, milk, cinnamon and honey drink! I’d love to try it!

  6. Janet
    August 5, 2017 / 5:11 am

    Yes, let us know how it goes. I am a big believer in an anti-inflammatory diet. Also, check out the acid/alkaline balance connection. I have a book originally written in the 50s called Arthritis and Folk Medicine that made a lot of sense to me when it explained how our modern diet is not in balance with nature which can lead to arthritis. Good luck!

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Can you share the name of that book please Janet? I’m open to all suggestions.

  7. Patty Norman Cunningham
    August 5, 2017 / 5:43 am

    I also have an arthritic thumb joint and Degenerative Disc Disease. The Dr prescribed PT which only helped on the days of therapy. I chose not to take the anti-inflammatory Rx after I was told I’d have to have a blood test after 30 days to make sure my liver and kidneys weren’t being damaged. I have just started taking 1500 mg of Tumeric and a Ginger supplement. I’ve been told it could take up to a month to see results. So, in the meantime I’m going to be soaking some raisins!!! Keep us updated on your results.

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      And I’m going to start taking that Tumeric and Ginger supplement too. Let’s compare notes in a month Patty. Seriously!!

  8. August 5, 2017 / 5:46 am

    A couple of months ago I began to drink one cup of tea with tumeric and cinnamon in it. It is hard to know for sure, but I think it has helped with my joint pain. I drink it iced unsweet and the brand is a tea from India. It tastes really good. If I feel like this is not working, I may turn to the raisins…but I am not a fan of gin. I will be curious to see if it helps. So sorry about the pain though and how bad it has become.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      That sounds yummy Pam!! What’s the brand?

  9. August 5, 2017 / 6:06 am

    One of the best things for arthritis is to eliminate gluten. It’s tough at first but helps inflammation tremendously!

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:14 pm

      I am gluten intolerant so I agree totally!!

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:14 pm

      I am gluten intolerant so I agree totally!! I’m guessing something else is going on too.

  10. Allison
    August 5, 2017 / 6:37 am

    Fish oil has anti inflammatory properties. I use Carleson’s ( 1 tblsp) Capsules are good but you have to take a lot to get the same benefits from one tablespoon. It is lemon flavoured so can be tossed into a smoothie. A diet that removes sugar, white flour, red meat and is mostly plant based is a good start. I have been exploring anti inflammatory diets lately due to personal health issues, there is little evidence based information on them yet thousands of years of ayervedic medicine has shown that including ginger and tumeric in the diet can have an anti inflammatory effect on the body.
    Gin was widely imbibed by the British colonials in India mixed with quinine water ( tonic water) to ward off malaria. Tossing in a few raisins won’t hurt but I prefer a squeeze of lime in my G&T’s.
    Sour cherry juice is also reported to be good for arthritis as is apple cider vinegar. Good luck!!

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Lol! I prefer Lime in my GT too Allison I bought cherry juice today as well. There’s so much wisdom in my readers, I’m so appreciative! I’m trying a lot of things and hope something helps.

  11. DEEDE
    August 5, 2017 / 6:56 am

    Well…I am a believer in gin and raisins…I have taken the 9 drunken boys for pain in my knee….and it went away…I don’t use the raisins now because I have no pain but for me, this did work…Success to you as you try this…

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:19 am

      I’m so excited it worked for you!! Thanks Deede!!

  12. Donna
    August 5, 2017 / 6:57 am

    Drunken raisins indeed! There are lots of remedies that are non-toxic. I would be concerned about too much Advil (or a similar product) wreaking havoc with the stomach and the liver. Turmeric and cherry juice are all good for joint pain. My husband takes a product called SynFlex every day for pain from an old back surgery. There are some foods, wheat and dairy among them, that cause inflammation in the body. Hope you have luck with your raisins…joint pain is not fun.

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:19 am

      I didn’t know about Cherry juice. The Advil was making me bruise too easily and my Endrocronologist wanted me off it. It’s a fine balancing act. I’ll look into the SynFlex. Thanks Donna!

  13. B. Early
    August 5, 2017 / 7:00 am

    My physical therapist suggested CryoDerm Cold Therapy Roll-On. It’s an over the counter menthol based product. I use it on my thumbs, big toe and knee. It helps me get to sleep.
    Inexpensive too.

    • B. Early
      August 5, 2017 / 7:03 am

      P.S. Amazon has it.

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:16 am

      Great tip! I’ll look for it. Thanks so much.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      Sounds great!! The menthol would help with my burning feeling. Thanks!

  14. DJ
    August 5, 2017 / 7:28 am

    Dr. Oz had the Gin and raisins episode several years ago. I have been using Turmeric and Joint Juice for my knees and find it has been working for several years.

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:15 am

      I haven’t heard of joint juice. I’ll google it, thanks DJ!

  15. August 5, 2017 / 7:32 am

    Hi Jennifer, for the last year I’ve suffered with cervical neck pain, (they say from arthritis) migraines, and recently started seeing my wrists and knuckles swelling and becoming painful. I didn’t realize gluten intolerance could affect more than just the gastrointestinal system. It’s highly inflammatory for many people. I have been off gluten for 6 weeks and seeing changes in all my joints and the migraines are easing up. People don’t realize that they may be “sensitive” or “intolerant” if they are not having gut issues. Anything that is “chronic” may be caused by inflammation, and gluten is one of the biggest offenders. I’m also off dairy, corn, and soy. Please Google this information and give it a try. I didn’t really eat bread before, but gluten is in so many processed foods, pastas, and even shampoos. If you are intolerant your life and arthritis will only get better.

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:14 am

      I went off gluten 3 years ago and my chronic sinus infections disappeared! I am a believer. I know dairy can have the same inflammatory properties so I need to try that too! Thanks for sharing and reminding me Debra. I’m glad you’re seeing relief.

  16. August 5, 2017 / 8:07 am

    I have a dear friend who has arthritis too so I do want to hear the results and my fingers are crossed for you that this works!

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:12 am

      I’ll keep everyone posted. My unpainful fingers are crossed. Plus my readers are offering such great info!!! I love my readers 🙂

  17. Debbie Davis
    August 5, 2017 / 8:09 am

    Hi Jennifer,
    have a friend who has had amazing results from the gin/raisin mixture and swears by it. I have arthritis pain in my knee and have started acupunture which resulted in much less pain in my knee than before. Good luck managing your pain!

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:10 am

      I’m really hopeful about it Debbie. They taste a bit nasty but if they work…I should try acupuncture too!

  18. Adrian
    August 5, 2017 / 8:14 am

    I have degenerative joint disease also. The base joint of both thumbs has been removed (about two years apart). My doctor then made a tightrope between the thumb and index finger. My doctor is with the Hand Clinic in Metairie (suburb of N.O.) Dr. ERic George. After PT I have regained full use of my hands with NO PAIN!!! Dr. George is one of the best in the South if not the country.

    Adrian

    • August 5, 2017 / 9:08 am

      I’ve never heard of that surgery Adrian. No pain is amazing. I’m so happy for you!

  19. Laurel
    August 5, 2017 / 10:40 am

    Another great topic. I look forward to hearing if this works. And I appreciate the other ideas from readers. My hands and feet hurt more with time, and I know I feel better when I eliminate sugar. I am going to google the anti-inflammatory diet and look at gluten, too, although I eat very little wheat.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:23 pm

      I’m so grateful to all my readers for sharing this great info!! I’m going to try many if these suggestions. Good luck Laurel! Keep us posted too.

  20. Donna
    August 5, 2017 / 10:54 am

    I am going to try this. After they have soaked in the gin on the counter do you put them in the refrigerator and long is the shelf life?

    • Deede
      August 5, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      I kept mine in the refrigerator…

    • August 5, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      I keep mine in the fridge.

  21. August 5, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I used Dr. McDougall’s Free Plan. It really helped my inflammatory arthritis, bad knee and some other problems. I’m still eating the plant based way that he prescribes, although not quite 100%. I started March 1st & have lost 19 lbs, since then, too.

    https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/

    There’s other Arthritis Video success stories, but this is my favorite:
    https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/stars/stars-video/paula-rheumatoid-arthritis/

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Thank you Chris!! I’ll check this out. I don’t eat any meat but my diet is not totally plant based either.

  22. LIsa
    August 5, 2017 / 11:39 am

    I have arthritis in both thumb and index finger joints–it can get hugely painful. I had been seeing a physical therapist who practices myofascial release for a back issue, and recently asked if she could help with my hands. Result: almost total freedom from pain, AND you can learn to use the technique on yourself.

    It can be hard to find. PT with training in MFR, but it’s worth the effort. This kind of PT has rescued my degenerating 70 year old back, too.

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      Oh my Lisa! This makes total sense. I don’t think my insurance will cover it but I’m going to ask. I’m so disappointed with my primary care Dr response to my pain. It’s unacceptable.

      • Lisa
        August 6, 2017 / 9:43 am

        Definitely worth trying if the alternatives are cortisone shots, lots of pain meds or surgery.

  23. Karen H.
    August 5, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    I’ve never heard of gin soaked raisins! I can recommend Turmeric w/ pepper in capsule form. It is sold at Costco. I noticed a big difference in less than two weeks. Please nix the Advil as that just causes more serious damage. Hope this helps.

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks Karen! I know the Advil is so bad for me, but the pain is brutal. Off to Costco tomorrow. I’ve been cooking with Tumeric but clearly it’s not enough.

      • Karen H.
        August 6, 2017 / 10:34 am

        Hi Jennifer, I’ll look forward to hearing how the turmeric supplement works for you. 👍

  24. August 5, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Wow! What a ton of great information! Personally, I was just going to put a raisin in my martini but now….

    People really seem to be helped by removing gluten and using turmeric. Lots to look into. I’ll be interested in what works for you.

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      I am bowled over by the wisdom my readers are sharing. I love my readers! I’ll be taking Tumeric for sure, just to start!

  25. August 5, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I’ve had arthritis in my thumb on my left hand for years. There were times I could hardly stand the pain. I began wearing a copper ring on my finger and a copper bracelet on that wrist, It took a while and now I rarely have any pain in that joint. But if I remove it the pain is back within a week or so. Others I know say it doesn’t work for them. My son was bothered with pain in his wrist and I bought him a copper bracelet. He is now a believer also. Works for me! Good luck with your raisins. I say whatever works!!

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      A copper bracelet would be so easy! I’ve never heard of the connection so I’ll check into it. Thanks Darla!

    • Sally Plunkett
      August 17, 2017 / 6:47 am

      I use a magnetic bracelet that my husband ordered from Amazon. It helped me so much, I order one for my mom and she swears by it also. I ordered a prettier one from Amazon that looked like turquoise but it didn’t work so I sent it back. I’m sure it doesn’t work for everyone but this helps me. I’ve tried the gin soaked raisins and they did not help me. I think you just have to keep looking and trying things til you find what works for you.

      • August 17, 2017 / 2:35 pm

        I agree, Sally. We are all so unique we will have individual results!

  26. Sandy Andry
    August 5, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    If you read the book “Wheat Belly” I believe you’ll see that grain is the problem source for many issues. There are also many people I know who are using a product called “Plexus” which helps gut issues. I had a trigger thumb problem but refused to have surgery or take medication. It’s gone away with proper diet and with using SIRI on my phone instead of my thumbs to text. I believe there are always holistic remedies to use instead of relying on medication. Best of luck to you. I enjoy your blog and advice.

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks Sandy! I’m hoping to find a non RX remedy. My brother insists I read Wheat Belly, so it’s on the way from Amazon!

  27. Eileen
    August 5, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    When I quit grains and dairy, and started consuming 1 cup daily of homemade organic bone broth, all my joint pain disappeared. I think the elimination of grains/dairy quenched the inflammation, and the nutrients and collagen in the bone broth help rebuild healthy tissue.

    • August 5, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      I’m thinking I have to get rid of the dairy Eileen. I do love good cheese but it’s not worth eating if it causes my pain !

  28. Tammy
    August 5, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Really want to know how it goes for you. I have arthritis in my lower back, makes it really hard to walk and I’m only 55. I’ve had injections many times they now want me to take a combination of 2 narcotics. I refuse to take them because I do not like that feeling. I also am not a big drinker, wine on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I’ll probably get drunk on those nine raisins. That might be a good thing, won’t feel the pain. I’m also going to look into some of the other suggestions as well. Thank you, ladies.
    .

    • Joanna
      August 6, 2017 / 11:21 am

      Please don’t take the pain meds. A co worker ( lovely lady ) had back problems and ended up addicted to them. It’s very sad.

  29. Rose
    August 6, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    My grandmother – 40 years ago – always started her day if her fingers/hand were sore/stiff by holding her hand over a hot burner on the stove. The dry heat really helped with reducing the pain/stiffness.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:31 pm

      Wow, she was a tough gal. Amazing she figured that out!

  30. Rose
    August 6, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Forgot – A friend drank apple cider vinegar – she would show us how well she could now move her hand/fingers.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      The lady in Whole Foods mentioned cider vinegar to me today. It’s a rough taste to get used to 🙂

  31. Summer Hartzog
    August 7, 2017 / 6:38 am

    My uncle shared this remedy with my mom years ago and they both swear by it!

  32. Wendy
    August 7, 2017 / 8:18 am

    Tomatoes and peppers (and other members of the “nightshade” family of vegetables) can cause arthritis flare-ups. As much as I love fresh tomatoes, it only took a week of feasting and a month and a half of painful hobbling to realize that the correlation was real. So now I limit my intake of tomatoes.

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:28 pm

      Oh no Wendy! I love tomatoes! I’m going to have to watch and see what causes it to flare up.

  33. Renita Ferguson
    August 7, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    I too have horrible arthritis (Rheumatoid) pain from time to time. I learned that I had food allergies and by eliminating the offending foods, I was able to control a good deal of the pain and inflammation I was experiencing throughout my body! Relief for me means staying away from all dairy, tree nuts, wheat, gluten and some of the “nightshade” vegetables like white potatoes and peppers. It’s tough to discipline myself to eat this way but well worth the effort when the pain stays away! You might want to try writing down your daily intake of foods in a journal and then making notes of how your thumb feels each day. You would be surprised how common food allergies are and yet most doctors won’t tell you there is any connection to pain in the body! Good look using the gin-soaked raisins…hoping it works for you!

    • August 7, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I think that’s what I’m going to have to do Renita. Gluten free is not enough do there must be other allergies I’m not aware of. My doctor has been of no help with this at all! But my readers sure have. Thank you!

  34. KAren
    August 9, 2017 / 5:41 am

    Hi, This is an interesting topic. I use Roll on bio freeze. it helps my hands and other areas of my body. I also use Great Lakes collagen in my coffee. I buy it from Amazon. A tablespoon a day seems to do wonders. What I want to know is if you combine all these treatments, would it be to much of a good thing. Is that possible?
    Karen

  35. Ginger Hamilton
    August 12, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    I was diagnosed with RA 5 months ago. The doctor put me on an anti inflammatory diet. No wheat, dairy, sugar, corn, or meat. I am allowed FIA, turkey and fish. Turmeric gives me an upset stomach. I put ginger in my smoothies. I was on steroids for 2 months before the methatrexate started working. Alleve doesn’t work for me. The RA is in my hands, mostly in my right thumb.

    • August 13, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      I hope you are getting relief from the pain, Ginger. It can be so debilitating especially in the hand! I have heard that corn and sugar can be a problem so may need to alter my diet.

  36. Kathy
    August 13, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    I’m not fond of raisins, but I love gin. If this is okay for diabetics, I’ll get right on it. I’ve already had surgery for arthritis on one foot and would like to avoid it on the other. My husband has already started looking up recipes with turmeric. He’s a keeper.

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