Gin soaked raisins are reputed to be an effective treatment for arthritis. I am not usually one for toting around old wives’ remedies, but this one both intrigued and tickled me.
Methods vary, but it essentially boils down to this: Take some golden raisins (not the dark variety) and soak them in gin for a week. Some sources say to leave them open to allow the alcohol to evaporate, some say to keep them in a sealed jar. After a week the raisins should have absorbed the gin and have plumped-up.
Once ready, refrigerate and eat nine or ten raisins a day. Reports suggest that symptoms are gradually relieved until after five weeks when the relief reaches maximum effect.
There is speculation abound about what makes this work for people. Some people think it is the sulphur dioxide that is used in preserving the colour of the raisin (given that dark raisins don’t appear to have the same effect). Some people think it might be something to do with the juniper oils in the gin, having been used historically for treatment of inflammation, amongst other things. Others extol the virtues of the grape (and by extension the raisin), claiming that they are crammed with pain reliving and anti-inflammatory chemicals.
I will point out that I have been unable to find any scientific evidence for the efficacy of this treatment, but there is plenty of anecdotal testimony out there. Whether this actually works, is a placebo effect or whether being slightly inebriated makes people feel better about their pain, I simply cannot say. Please don’t take this as medical advice and always consult someone who knows what they are talking about before self medicating like this.
I am thankfully not afflicted with arthritis, so I cannot really try this myself (except maybe trying it on elderly relatives).However, if I do reach a ripe old age and find myself suffering with arthritis, I will be hitting the gin and dried fruit.