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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Arthritis, Raisins and Gin

I came down with arthritis in my hands only recently. Greg has had to deal with it even longer. We regularly take anti-inflammatory meds to help ease the pain.

Take note lil' children. I was once like you. Nothing stopped me. But the body wears down and the more brutal you were to it during your youth, the more vengeful it becomes as you age. Bodies are mean like that. They're vindictive. And I was a very bad girl in my youth. There was nothing I wouldn't try, even if I got injured. Pain is temporary, right? LOL.

Greg always relied on pain meds and anti-inflammatories, but I am so leery of drugs. I avoid them as much as possible--much to the consternation of my doctor. I would rather live with the pain than subject myself to a lot of foreign chemicals. But sometimes it's too much, and I'll cry Uncle and take the drugs.

Given this history, I put myself on the hunt for alternatives for arthritis relief. There are a lot out there, but in order to make this scientific I need to take only one remedy at a time to see if it helps, so it is a slow process.

I started with the drunk raisin remedy. It's an old standby that seems to have a lot of supporters. I put Greg on it a week after I started. Here are our findings.

Although some fans say that their arthritis disappeared after six weeks, ours only lessened. But it lessened to the point that now I can open a door or make a fist. I couldn't do that two months ago.

So it DOES work. It wasn't a complete recovery, but it provides enough relief that we'd be happy to continue it.

According to everything I found on the internet, you need to take NINE drunk raisins a day. I have not found anywhere why it has to be nine. I mean...some raisins are smaller or bigger than others, so why nine? But nine is the accepted holy number.

Gin: We used Bombay Sapphire which is what Greg had in the house. I got in trouble later because evidently this is "special" gin, the kind Richard Marcinko drank all throughout his Rogue Warrior series.

What the heck? It's gin.

But not all gin is created equal. For this remedy to work it MUST be made with real juniper berries. Supposedly, this is the ingredient that reacts to the sulfites in golden raisins.

Golden Raisins: I have read one report where they used regular raisins, but in my research, nearly everyone used golden raisins.

Do NOT use this remedy if you are sensitive to sulfites or suffer migraines.

Fermenting: Put the whole box of raisins in a bowl. Cover with gin. You want every raisin to touch the gin. Cover with cheesecloth.

Leave for a week or so until the gin has soaked into the raisins. Once the raisins are plump with the gin, store covered with a lid or plastic wrap in the fridge.

Dosage: Eat 9 raisins every day.

It helped us.

Which is better than another arthritis remedy I found.

Bee sting therapy.

I'll wait on that one. I'm not that desperate yet.


Marian said...

Hey Maria,

Sorry to hear about the arthritis, but I'm glad the remedy is helping. And I'll bet the raisins taste pretty good too. :)

Anonymous said...

Enough gin in the raisins, and you'll feel no pain. But I suspect you'll need to eat more than 9.

Marianne Arkins said...

Urgh... I can't stand gin. Blech. Too bad they don't use Vodka. ;-)

My mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 15 years ago and refused traditional treatment (feel better, lose your kidneys!) -- she's controlled hers to the point of almost no pain with Glucosomine and Yucca capsules (3x a day). She seldom even takes Ibuprophen unless she has a flare up.

Every time she changes doctors, they don't believe she has RA. "You would be crippled by now." and they retest. Sure enough, she comes back positive.

I'm a believer. I've started having achy bones -- hips, toes and fingers -- and I take Yucca and Glucosomine daily. It helps.

My inlaws both have Osteo-arthritis and started using Yucca. They've become firm believers in it as well, since their pain has receded dramatically.

I don't know if you've tried it, or if your raisins are working well enough for you, but you might give it a go. It's less painful the daily bee stings. And you don't have to kill a handful of bees either!

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: Gin soaked raisins are far easier to take than pills. :o)

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Daw:
LOL. If only...

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: I don't like the taste of gin either, but believe it or not you cannot taste it in the raisins.

I think the sweetness of the raisins negates any of the alcohol taste.

But I am going to look for yucca.

Mike Keyton said...

If you had 18 raisins, would you feel twice as good?

This was a great post. I read it with first sympathy and then interest in the various remedies.

Now I'm looking down the length of my body, poking here and there, looking for the first signs of decay. Who am I kidding - the evidence stares at me in the mirror - and no amount of raisins is going to cure that :)

I'm sure you and Greg are doing a great job supporting each other. Maybe you should train up your dog to open doors, pour drinks....

Maria Zannini said...

Alas, most of my decrepitude was brought on by me. I really am my own worst enemy.

I was fascinated with the arthritis research. I learned a lot.

Kaz Augustin said...

It's an old barman's trick, but I do the same thing with olives; i.e. soak them in gin until I can't bear it any more and start scoffing into them. I comfort myself by saying it's a way to eat my greens!

Maria Zannini said...

I like greens, but I dunno about gin soaked olives. :o)

But the soaked raisins taste good. It's a treat.

Red Garnier said...

Maria, glad to know the raisins helped some. I, too, am leery about taking medicines. I abstain as much as possible, and when I can find a natural remedy that will do, I always try that one first! :)

Maria Zannini said...

It was surprisingly helpful. --and not bad eating either. :o)

Shelley Munro said...

Maria - I'm like you. I prefer not to take drugs and medicines if I can help it. I hate taking pills - raisins definitely sound better to me.

The Bee sting one doesn't sound quite as good.

Maria Zannini said...

The one anecdote I read about the bee sting therapy was from someone who got stung accidentally and realized his crippling arthritis went away for several weeks.

I'm just not that brave. :o)