Golden raisins soaked in gin were ineffective against my arthritis pain. But then I tried raisins in sloe gin, and they were immediately and totally effective.
Regular gin is flavored with juniper berries, while sloe gin is flavored with sloe berries from the blackthorn bush, traditionally used for digestive disorders. This isn’t the first time we have heard that sloe gin with raisins may fight arthritis pain.
My daughter heard that a bar of soap at the foot of the bed between the sheets would ease arthritis pain. I tried it. After about four weeks my arthritis seems to be much better. Is there something in the soap that helps, or is it my imagination?
We have reported on a home remedy for leg cramps that calls for a bar of soap to be placed beneath the bottom sheet, near the legs. We didn’t think about this working for arthritis until we received this note from a reader:
“Since my husband sometimes gets leg cramps, I gave him your article about carrying soap in his pocket. He decided to try it, and for at least four days now he has had no pain from his sciatica. In fact, he has not had to take the pain medication that he usually takes daily. Have you heard of this effect from anyone else? Do you have any conjectures on why a bar of soap works?”
We have no idea why soap might work, but it is not only cheap but also harmless.
I have been struggling with arthritis and joint pain and just found out that my vitamin D level is really low. My doctor put me on a megadose of 50,000 international units (IU) each week for eight weeks. Then I will switch to 800 IU daily. I took the first 50,000-IU pill yesterday, and today I can’t believe how good my joints feel. My wife thinks I’m crazy. I just returned from a six-mile walk and then used my weights. I have no pain and wonder if the vitamin D is responsible. Shouldn’t a vitamin D check be part of a physical? After reading about the problems low vitamin D causes, it seems it should be.
You may be right. Rheumatologists have reported that low vitamin D levels often contribute to both joint and soft tissue pain. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of many ills, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. Insufficient vitamin D can mimic other serious problems as well, as one of our readers reported: “I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis until the doctor found that my vitamin D level was 8.3 (dangerously low).I’m on 50,000 IU twice weekly, and I can tell you that it makes a huge difference!”
PLANT PECTIN AND CERTO
I woke up this morning to find I was another year older, but thanks to you, I am active again for the first time in years. I combined several suggestions I found in your column. I am taking glucosamine and chondroitin along with grape juice and Certo (plant pectin) and turmeric. These remedies made me feel so good I forgot to take them for a few days, and the pain returned. I won’t make that mistake again.
The experiment you are conducting is unusual. Combining several natural remedies for arthritis hasn’t been tested but may offer some advantages.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic