Since I have arthritis pains in my wrists and hands, I have been trying out many different "home remedies." When I came across the gin-soaked raisin recipe, I was wondering what it could do for me?
I soaked my first batch:
2 cups of golden raisins
Enough gin to cover the raisins, about 1-2 cups.
I put it all in a glass bowl and covered with a saucer. It is good to stir it up every day until the liquid gets absorbed by the raisin. When they are nice and plump (usually about 3-4 days), you can start eating them. The idea is to eat 9 raisins every day. I am snacking on them several times throughout the day, without counting.
Even after a few days I felt some improvements in the pain level of my wrists. Especially, as the day went on, my wrists and fingers became more flexible. That should be enough satisfaction, but I was curious why this could be such an effective remedy (I don't take any medications at all).
Here is what I learned:
Why are raisins effective for arthritis?
Grapes and raisins contain some natural pain relievers as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The natural compounds which work as pain relievers are ferulic acid, gentisic acid and salicylic acid which work similar to aspirin.
Anti-inflammatory properties like cinnamic acid, coumaric and ascorbic acid make grapes and raisins beneficial to soothe the heat of inflammation. Some experts claim that raisins are more effective than grapes since they don’t contain water.
Raisins are also a good source of antioxidants which protect from free radicals. Besides being rich in vitamins A and B complex, they also contain calcium, copper, boron, iron, phosphorus and potassium which are essential minerals.
All these elements contribute to the health benefits of raisins. They also contain a good amount of fiber which is important to stay regular in your elimination process.
Does Gin really contain juniper berries?
The word gin is derived from the Dutch word jenever which has its origin in Latin and means juniper. Gin is made by distilling rye or other grains, and flavoring it with juniper berries and some other botanicals. Juniper berries are harvested from the ever-green conifer plant and are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. They have their own medicinal benefits:
• Aides digestion
• Appetite stimulant
• Blood purifier
• Helps to dissolves kidney stones
• Prevents bacterial infections
• Prevents the crystallization of uric acid in the kidneys
• Promotes healthy joints
• Relieves gout
• Remedies for rheumatism and arthritis
Like with many medicinal formulations, originally the alcohol was used as a suspension medium for the beneficial juniper berries, but people developed a taste for this particular “tonic” and born was a popular alcoholic drink.
Here is an interesting fact from Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs which may be the reason that the juniper has come to symbolize protection: "The plant's pungent aroma has long recommended it for driving away evil spirits and disease. Legend has it that juniper planted beside the front door will keep out witches; the only way for a witch to get past the plant was by correctly counting its needles."
* Gin soaked raisins can be eaten if you are not an alcoholic and if you are not suffering from gout.
* Pregnant women should also not partake of it.