I have arthritis in my knees and fingers, but no pain. Every morning I drink a cup of green tea with three packets of Equal in it. I know this works for me, for I tried using other artificial sweeteners. After five days, I started to have mild pain and stiffness in both my knees. Needless to say, I went right back to using Equal. It took about a week to get back to being free of pain or stiffness in my knees. I don’t have diabetes, but my son-in-law does. He too uses Equal to rid himself of pain in his feet. I can’t say this will work for everyone, but three dollars for a 50-packet box is a small price to pay for pain relief.
Aspartame (Equal) has been tested for arthritis pain in a small, placebo-controlled trial. It is nearly as effective as aspirin but does not irritate the stomach. People who cannot tolerate aspartame or prefer to avoid it may want to try natural anti-inflammatory agents such as ginger, curcumin, boswellia, or bromelain.
I have heard that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may be beneficial in helping the body repair cartilage and improving arthritic joints. Is this an old wives’ tale, or does it hold up under scrutiny?
Fish oil is amazing. My husband is under a doctor’s care for arthritis. Within one day of starting fish oil, the swelling began to go down in his fingers. He still takes his prescribed medication, but in lower doses. This relief is so much better.
There have been a number of studies suggesting that fish oil is helpful for joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Even when doctors do not detect an objective difference, patients taking fish oil report less pain and morning stiffness and take fewer pain relievers than patients who refrain.4
GIN AND RAISINS
A neighbor of mine was so crippled with arthritis that she had to use a walker. She and her husband had over 100 beautiful azaleas that she could no longer care for. Then I walked by her house and thought I was seeing things. There she was, down on her knees, working in her flower beds. I said, “Nancy, have you experienced a miracle?” “No,” she said, “just gin and raisins!” I began taking the recipe and was able to stop going to the arthritis clinic, which wasn’t helping anyway. My osteoarthritis subsided, and I stopped the remedy. Now, ten years later, I’m 67 and the arthritis is back in my little fingers, with redness, pain, and swelling. I remembered the recipe but forgot to let the gin evaporate. It turned into the most delicious raisiny brandy and helped my joints as well. In the next batch I used black raisins. For some reason, it isn’t helping as much.
We cannot begin to explain why some folks benefit so dramatically from the gin and raisin remedy while others tell us it is worthless. Nor can we explain why light raisins might work better than dark ones in some cases.
I am interested in the formula for the gin and raisin remedy for arthritis. How much of each makes a batch, and how many batches would I take each day?
This recipe calls for golden raisins. Empty a box of raisins into a shallow bowl, and then add enough gin to cover them. Allow the gin to evaporate. (This may take up to a week.) Store the raisins in a covered container, and eat nine golden raisins daily. Although we don’t know why, this remedy works for many people. But a word of warning: People who are allergic to sulfites should avoid golden raisins, which have sulfites added to preserve their color. One person experienced a swollen tongue due to this allergy.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic