Easing The Pain

Happy Thursday ladies. Today, I’m updating a post from a few years ago because I see the error of my ways. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks but you can remind them of ones they knew;)

Several years ago, arthritis in my thumb began inching toward excruciating. My doctor prescribed a hand brace and copious amounts of Advil to reduce the pain. The results were not terrific. Some days my entire hand burns and I have trouble using it at all so I decided to try an urban myth that promises great relief. Gin-soaked raisins.

I know that cortisone shots can relieve inflammation and reduce pain, but I’ve heard they may also degenerate the thumb joint, so I decided to not go that route.getting a steroid shot into thumb joint with xray machine

Update- I have gone that route.hand xray of cortisone shot

I have to admit, that shot was an amazingly uncomfortable excruciating procedure and no amount of numbing spray could make it tolerable.

Several years ago, a friend recommended something she swears by, which I thought sounded insane. The theory is that a daily regimen of ingesting gin-soaked raisins will help ease the pain of arthritis. I thought she was kidding but a quick look around the internet turns up many recipes and testimonials about its effectiveness.

Gin soaked raisins on A Well Styled Life

It sounded so unlikely I checked it on Snopes, the definitive internet fact-checking resource for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation. Snopes could not disprove it so I decided to give it a shot!

Here’s my gin-soaked raisin recipe:


  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 -2-cup gin (enough to just cover the raisins)

Gin soaked raisin recipe on A Well Styled Life


  1. Before you get started, make sure your gin is made with real juniper berries. This is a critical component.
  2. Put the golden raisins in a shallow glass container and add enough gin to just cover the raisins.
  3. Cover the container with cheesecloth and allow to stand until the raisins absorb the gin and the remaining liquid evaporates which usually takes about one week.
  4. Each day, eat NINE of these “drunken” raisins.

I let my raisins sit for 2 weeks, not to make them stronger but because they looked gross. Some of my raisins didn’t plump up. They actually looked pretty nasty so I assume they were too dried out to start with and I tossed them.Gin soaked raisin recipe

Gin soaked raisins are an acquired taste but if they help the pain, they’re worth it.

Update, this did help alleviate some of my arthritis pain so I gradually stopped taking them! Very dumb. I’m back in a thumb brace, waiting for the cortisone to kick in and preparing my next batch of gin-soaked raisins.

Have you tried this?

How do you treat your arthritis?


Thanks for reading ladies and have a great day!


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. ssusaan denton
    March 19, 2020 / 10:28 am

    I too have BAD thumb joint pain & went to the doc last year where he gave me a shot/a big ‘honkin’ brace. I want to get a smaller 1 so I can type. Can you send a link to the 1 you have to me?

    • Jennifer
      March 19, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      This was the brace sold by my doctor’s physical therapy department. It was not custom made, but also not the best fit. Ask your doctor for a smaller option.

  2. Deborah S
    March 11, 2020 / 5:34 pm

    My husband and I both take Turmeric & Curcumin for ours. I start hurting when I DON’T take it!

  3. Linda
    March 9, 2020 / 6:54 pm

    My knees. Oh, my knees. Heat therapy helps. I take naproxen but don’t want to (it helps a little).

  4. Barbara Daley
    March 7, 2020 / 9:12 am

    I have been using cbd oil that my son sent me and I find it does help. I’m unable to take NSAIDS and Tylenol doesn’t help a lot so I’m grateful for the oil. My arthritis has now spread to my other hand and I have some restricted motion in both hands so this was really a Godsend. Hoping you find relief soon.

    • Jennifer
      March 7, 2020 / 9:44 pm

      I can’t take Advil, etc either. I’ve ordered some cbd to try also

  5. Laurie
    March 6, 2020 / 5:19 am

    An infrared mitt warms and soothes my hand and reduces inflammation, similar to the “red light” therapy found at a spa or cosmetic boutique. I have arthritis in the carpometacarpal joint of my right thumb, so common in ‘ahem’ mature women. I wear Dritz compression gloves when I sew and have tried many topical gels, hand yoga, pain relievers, and a cortisone injection. This mitt is the easiest and most effective therapy so far.

    • Jennifer
      March 6, 2020 / 10:17 am

      Thank you for sharing this, Laurie! It sounds great.

  6. Rose
    March 5, 2020 / 5:31 pm

    It really is interesting to hear what works and has helped others.

    Something I read recently on another blog re RA – the person drank alkaline water and it really helped her.

    My husband is now taking an infusion/biologic and he is noticing an improvement re his hands.

    • Jennifer
      March 6, 2020 / 10:16 am

      I have read that acidic foods increase inflammation. I’m going to learn more about it

  7. Norma G
    March 5, 2020 / 4:31 pm

    Wow! Apparently Arthritis pain relief is an important subject for so many. I feel blessed that although my Dr.told me about 10 years ago that an MRI and a CAT Scan both show that I have arthritis, I have no symptoms. However, I do have occasional localized pain when doing certain movements that aggravate an old neck/ shoulder injury. I have friends that swear by Turmeric and CBD for arthritis pain. I’ve been taking Glucosamine/Chrodroitin supplements for over 25 years and tribute my painfree movements to that, whether it really works or not, I will continue using it.

  8. Gayle Murphy
    March 5, 2020 / 2:11 pm

    I am astounded by the response to this post. It is absolutely wonderful. I am blessed. I don’t suffer with this, but I have read all the comments up to here and I am just so pleased to see such an outpouring of caring and advice. Makes me feel good about the world, and that’s in short supply lately. Jennifer, you bring out the best in people.

    • Jennifer
      March 6, 2020 / 9:23 am

      I feel so blessed. My readers are the very best, Gayle!!

  9. Kim
    March 5, 2020 / 1:38 pm

    I also suffer from Basal Thumb Arthritis. I take Turmeric that I get from my Nutritionist. I have also done the Apple Cider Vinegar drink with 1/4 tsp of Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg and a squirt of honey. This will help with inflammation and weight control if you can tolerate the drink. Put in 8oz of water hot or cold. The best remedy has been low dose Naltrexone and the Turmeric. I am on 2mg daily for small joint arthritis and Hoshimotos. Helps with other autoimmune diseases but good luck finding a physician to prescribed.

  10. Paula
    March 5, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    Reading your blog post and all the replies, what a wealth of information!! Thank you Jennifer for starting this conversation and I’ll be watching for follow ups!!! 🙂

  11. Connie
    March 5, 2020 / 10:55 am

    My daughter is a nurse with psoriatic arthritis who swears by Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. It comes in a white 24 oz tub and has a blue label with a cow sketch picture. She buys it at the Roseville Costco. I just started using it myself, so I’m still in a “let’s hope” phase. It does make sense to replace the collagen in your joints. I’m going to try the gin raisins too!

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Thank you Connie!! I’ll try some too.

      • S Doyle
        April 28, 2020 / 5:57 pm

        I recently heard about collagen pills for joint pain, but the cream would be much better. I hope I can find it at Costco in Canada

        • Janet
          October 30, 2020 / 9:22 am

          I think the product Connie described from Costco is actually a powder that you put in coffee or another drink. Really works for making hair healthy.

  12. Mollie M.
    March 5, 2020 / 9:31 am

    My goodness, so many suggestions to relieve arthritis! I have osteoarthritis all over, especially in my shoulders and hands. I cannot write anymore. I do not take anything really for it, but maybe an Alleve now and then, but only one in the morning. I will try the raisins in gin. Arthritis makes you very tired and that really bothers me. Thank you everyone for all of the suggestions!

  13. Leslie Larkin
    March 5, 2020 / 9:16 am

    Hi Jennifer, I sympathize with you as I have severe Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. (Both knees replaced before age 60) Anyway, have you tried Voltaren gel? it is a prescription NSAID gel that has worked for me. Also, I changed to a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet, which has been a tremendous help for me. Best of luck!

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2020 / 12:49 pm

      I wondered if those topical gels worked. Thanks for the recommendation.

  14. maryellen walsh small
    March 5, 2020 / 9:10 am

    I keep Mason jars filled with things to put on my cereal or yogurt. Drunken raisins every day. They work so subtly that you don’t think they are working until you travel or forget them and then the pain comes back and you know they work. The gin evaporates when you leave the jar cap off the first week. Also in Mason jars I have dried tart cherries along with sugared ginger slices which I tear into bits as a sweetener. Also walnut bits, , sliced almonds, dried blueberries, dried coconut, flaxseed…
    So all these Mason jars full of goodies are at the ready as cereal or yogurt toppings. The one I never miss is the raisins with the tart cherries my second most useful for pain.

    There’s a spice mixture called Ras el Hanout, which is a Moroccanspice ..that you can get on Amazon. Has tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, anise, cardamom and on and on. I thought I was only only one who knew this and then saw someone on the Great British Baking Show use it. I put it into soups, pastas, veggies. The one I bought is from Zamuri Spices but have not tried others and will.

    • Mary Ann Simpkins
      March 5, 2020 / 9:57 am

      One question….Do the Gin soaked raisins need to be refrigerated once they’ve absorbed the alcohol? Or can they be left out in the covered jar at room temperature?

      • Jennifer
        March 5, 2020 / 12:50 pm

        I left mine out. I thought the gin would kill anything, but I’m not sure. Does anyone here know?

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2020 / 12:32 pm

      Thank you, thank you, Maryellen! Having them all lined up sounds so smart. I think the drunken raisins and dried cherries will be awesome with my Kumquats on yogurt:) I can’t wait until they’re ready to use.

  15. Marian
    March 5, 2020 / 7:50 am

    Have you ever gone to a medical marijuana shop? I have not and I do not have severe arthritis but I have heard that there are amazing salves. If I was in chronic pain, I’d try one of those pharmacies since it’s legal where we live. And your experience would make a very interesting blog post!

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2020 / 12:25 pm

      I will be checking it out and share my experience, Marian

  16. Karen S
    March 5, 2020 / 7:45 am

    Relieve CBD Roll-On from Mission Farms in Bend, Oregon
    I roll it on my hands every night and massage in. The goat milk soap
    from Bend Soap Co and their products I like for what is not in them.

    • Jennifer
      March 5, 2020 / 12:24 pm

      Good to know, thanks Karen

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