Gin and Raisins…for Arthritis?

By: Bel Marra Health | Pain Management | Friday, October 12, 2012 - 04:29 AM

pain reliefApproximately 350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis and for many of these sufferers, the pain can be debilitating.  Pain relief options for these individuals are essential for them to maintain a good quality of life. In addition to traditional medical pain relief options, many people seek out alternative pain relief options for various conditions and those suffering with arthritis are no different.

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis involves inflammation of one or more joints in the body.  Joint pain is commonly seen in individuals suffering with arthritis. There are over 100 different types of arthritis which range in severity from mild to severe.   The cause of arthritis depends on the type of arthritis an individual has.  Causes of arthritis can include: injury, metabolic problems, hereditary factors, infections, and autoimmune disorders.   The different types of arthritis are similar to each other in that they tend to affect joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage and many can also affect internal regions in the body.

Symptoms of arthritis often involve joint pain and limited range of motion around the affected joint.  When a joint becomes inflamed, stiffness, redness, swelling, warmth and possibly tenderness may occur.  Traditional treatment options usually attempt to maintain joint function and provide pain relief.  Treatment for arthritis can involve physical therapy, splinting, cold pack therapy, paraffin wax baths, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relief medications, immune altering medications and possibly surgical intervention.

Gin Soaked Golden Raisins as an Alternative Pain Relief Option?

For years many people have believed that eating gin soaked raisins provide alternative pain relief for arthritis sufferers. The gin soaked raisin recipe involves placing a box of golden raisins into a glass jar and pouring gin (specifically gin with juniper berries) over the raisins until they are completely covered.  The raisins soak for 10 days at room temperature.  After this point, eating 10 raisins per day is said to provide pain relief for arthritis sufferers.   You may be asking yourself, does this actually work? There have been no double blinded studies to show the effectiveness of gin soaked raisins as an alternative pain relief option for individuals with arthritis.  However, there are a number of different reasons why gin soaked raisins may provide some pain relief.

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1. The Golden Raisin – the grapes used to make this type of raisin (Sultana grapes) may help to reduce inflammation.  Since inflammation is a key characteristic of arthritis, this may be why these gin soaked raisins work to provide pain relief.

2. The Gin – the raisins are soaked in gin and gin contains juniper berries which also have anti-inflammatory compounds including alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, beta-pinene, betulin, caryophyllene, delta-3-carene, limonene, menthol and rutin.  These compounds may help to reduce the inflammation seen with arthritis.

3. The Sulfur Dioxide – sulfur dioxide is used to keep the raisins “golden” and it also provides anti-inflammatory effects.

Alternative Pain Relief Options

When you combine the golden raisins with the gin you are consuming a number of compounds that all have anti-inflammatory effects which could theoretically provide pain relief.  Even though there is currently no conclusive scientific studies that show the efficacy of this alternative pain relief option, eating gin soaked raisins may not be a bad idea.  Eating gin soaked raisins in addition to other treatment options may provide additional pain relief to some individuals suffering with arthritis.

Remember to speak to your doctor before adding gin soaked raisins into your daily plan to ensure that it is a suitable alternative pain relief option for you.

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