Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: Folk or Flop

Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: Folk or Flop

I once heard about the use of gin-soaked raisins from an elderly lady who swore by them when I was still a young adult caring for the elderly. At that time, I didn't pay much attention to folk remedies, let alone have the time to stop and listen. That's how it goes in young adult life – too busy to note the olden ways. Many years later, during my time in herbal school, I heard about it again, and this time, I listened. It has been on my to-try list for the past couple of years, but like many "To-Dos," it took a backseat until the other day.

Sitting on the apothecary floor, doing inventory on my alcohol for tinctures, I reached back and found my little bottle of gin. It dawned on me – I never made my gin-soaked raisins. What reminded me was the fact that I couldn't open the bottle due to my hand's tightness and soreness from an old injury caused by good old barbed wire, which landed me in the hospital and resulted in surgery. Even though years have passed, I still experience pain and occasional difficulty gripping. During warmer months, I've found relief by utilizing my honey bees and intentionally allowing myself to get stung. However, during the colder months, I'm not with the bees as often, and the cold weather takes a toll on my hand. So now is the perfect time to give gin-soaked raisins a go.

True gin comes from those powerful juniper berries. To explore what these berries might bring to the table, I cracked open the New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman. This gem of a resource paints a vivid picture of the medicinal benefits that juniper berries offer – their herbal actions (what they do) are diuretic, antiseptic, and anti-rheumatic. Well, that makes sense and explains why gin is used for the menstruum of the "folk remedy," going back in history, realizing that gin was actually created as medicine. Intrigued, I thought, why not give it a shot?

Now, let's talk raisins – why raisins and why golden raisins? Golden raisins are mechanically dried with sulfur dioxide, preventing color change. Sulfur might have anti-inflammatory effects and widen blood vessels, offering short-term pain relief. However, it's uncertain if the trace amounts in golden raisins (about 2,500 to 3,000 parts per million) are enough to make a difference, but many swear by it!

I went with non-GMO golden raisins and Hendricks Gin, which is 44% alcohol. This gin is like a botanical symphony with juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cucumber, and rose petals. It's not just about potential benefits; it's the flavor behind crafting this gin that caught my eye, and of course, the other botanicals – and really, I just liked the bottle!

In a generous dish, I laid out those golden raisins and poured the gin over them like a boozy rain, then placed a towel over it. Over the next 7 to 10 days, these raisins will soak up all that gin goodness, and then I will store it in a sealable jar. After this little marination, we'll be ready to savor the concoction – about 7-10 gin-soaked raisins a day. It's a straightforward process, and I can't help but be excited to see if this folk remedy lives up to its historical hype.

As someone who sometimes battles arthritis discomfort (thanks, barbwire incident), I'm genuinely buzzing with intrigue about this remedy. So, here's the deal – I'd love for you to join me on this little adventure. In roughly 8 weeks, I'll spill the beans on my experience and spill some more on whether this folk remedy gave me the relief I'm after. So, while we wait for the results, let's stay curious, keep our hands dirty, and learn something old.

Kaylee Richardson

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