Don't stint on gin in joint pain remedy

People's Pharmacy

Health & Fitness

October 24, 2004|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

You have recommended soaking golden raisins in gin for arthritis relief and suggested that cheap gin would work fine. I spent several years in the distilled spirits business. It was said that the cheap gins are not true distilled gin, but neutral spirits (like vodka) with a gin flavoring added.

It might be better to use a real gin containing juniper. It should say "distilled" gin on the label, and is usually found in the middle (and upper) price ranges.

We don't know what it is about golden raisins soaked in gin that helps some people with joint pain. We have heard from so many folks who benefit that we suspect there is something to this combination. It might be the juniper, or it might be something else entirely.

Thanks for the word on "cheap" gin. The difference is that in distilled gin the botanicals that give the drink its flavor are distilled with the alcohol. In cheaper gin, separate extracts are added. Whether this makes a difference in the effect on joint pain is unclear.

The recipe calls for covering golden raisins with gin in a shallow pan. Let the gin evaporate, then keep the raisins in a closed container. Eat nine daily.

What can I use in my bath water that will not bring on bladder infections?

Doctors used to warn that bubble bath could increase the risk of urinary tract infections, but the data are not convincing. Avoid harsh cleansers that can irritate sensitive tissue. Plain bath water is best.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them via their Web site, www.peoplespharmacy.org.

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