9 Gin-Soaked Raisins —Suze

Images by Suze

Laura suggested that I might write about teaching in urban schools or the vagaries of modern dating or one of my evolving get-moderately-financially-
comfortable-ever-so-slowly schemes. And I might yet.

But when I called my mother today and asked what she was up to, she answered: Soaking raisins in gin.  And now that phrase is reverberating around the inside of my skull, crowding out any other plans I might’ve had. I thought she must be working on some new confection, because when we worried my Grammy had taken to drink it turned out that the bottles of Southern Comfort were actually disappearing into dozens of whisky cakes, which she was distributing to her ladyfriends around St. Theresa’s parish. But no, you take these raisins straight up. Nine a day.

This “voodoo recipe,” as my stepfather dubbed it—golden raisins only—is supposed to remedy arthritis. As when anyone evinces skepticism over anything nowadays, I was told: “You can look it up on the internet.”  Sure enough, Googling “gin-soaked raisins” produced 10,300 results.

Never mind how the internet affects political involvement. Laura, you should be writing about how it simplifies self-medication. And encourages gin sales. 


11 thoughts on “9 Gin-Soaked Raisins —Suze

  1. I don’t know about the raisins, but I got some good advice off the internet for home remedies for heading off (or curing mild) yeast infection. Doctors don’t warn you when they give you antibiotics, that you’re likely to end up with a yeast infection. Happens to me every time, and to lots of my girlfriends too. I’d be careful about anything that seems too odd, but there’s some info that spreads more easily outside the medical establishment.


  2. “Doctors don’t warn you when they give you antibiotics, that you’re likely to end up with a yeast infection.”
    Is that really so? Because, they should, tell you that yeast infections go up if you’re on anti-biotics. Every doctor knows that. My doctors certainly told me. But, perhaps a woman doctor is more likely to do so?
    I find the information available on the internet to be a constant source of delight. But, I am also intrigued by how some types of medical information can have a persistence that belies science’s ability to correct it, and I have to blame the internet for those things, too.
    BTW, how do gin-soaked raisins taste? And can you use another alcohol, like rum? I like my medical interventions to be evidence based (http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-diets-supplements), but am willing to eat foods I like and accept a vague sense that they might also be good for me (red wine, green tea). Should I add gin-soaked raisins?


  3. “Every doctor knows that. My doctors certainly told me. But, perhaps a woman doctor is more likely to do so?”
    I’ve had lots of different doctors over the years, and I think I only heard that directly from a medical practioner (a woman nurse) once.


  4. I like my medical interventions to be scientifically based, but accept that there’s much we simply don’t know yet. We understand now why warm milk makes one sleepy, but didn’t once. It still worked. So I think there are treatments that work but we still don’t know why. If it doesn’t seem to be harmful, then why not (though of course, it’s possible something might be harmful and we don’t yet know it).
    I checked out the raisins-in-gin claims, and there are no studies to support it, but the folk remedy has been around for at least 50 years, with some people claiming significant benefits. Some theorize that it’s sufides used in making golden raisins, some say it’s the juniper berries, some say it’s the phytochemicals present in all raisins and grapes, and yet others say it’s the placebo effect. I didn’t find anything that offered cautions, so it seems like an innocuous thing to try. It takes a few weeks before they are ready, so I’ll have to ask about the taste.


  5. Oh, and I’ve never had a doctor warn me about possible yeast infections after prescribing antibiotics. Though I have no history. Then again, the prescribing doctor wouldn’t know that, since my GP and Gyn are different.


  6. My strong suspicion is that drinking whatever amount of gin can be soaked-up by nine raisins is just as effective, though sulfides (hopefully of a different type) are indeed used to treat arthritis.


  7. The raisin remedy reminds me of the Roald Dahl story where someone hunts pheasants by feeding them raisins with sleeping pills inside.


  8. BTW, the placebo effect can be “real” (that is, the body can produce physiological changes because it thinks something is going to help). There’s some interesting (though very preliminary) stuff saying that Parkinson’s symptoms can be significantly improved by placebos. The problem is that when something operates through a physiological placebo effect, it doesn’t need to have anything at all in it to produce the effect.


  9. Since this thread popped-back, I am reminded of this Christmas when I watched a rheumatologist receive a bottle of gin and a box of golden raisins. The box was labeled “The Cure.”


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