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How to Substitute Powdered Pectin in Arthritis Remedy

Some readers who have tried Certo in grape juice to ease their joint pain would like to use powdered pectin instead. It may be harder, but it is do-able.

Because arthritis is so common, people have invented dozens if not scores of home remedies. Scientists have not done studies on most of these approaches, but that won’t stop people from trying them. One of the most popular is “Purple Pectin,” aka Certo in grape juice. However, some people find the liquid pectin in Certo hard to handle. They ask if they can use powdered pectin instead.

Can You Substitute Powdered Pectin for Certo?

Q. I have been using the pectin/grape juice remedy for joint pain, and it is helping. I do have a question about the formula. If I cannot find liquid Certo, can I use the same measurement for powdered pectin? In other words, is a tablespoon of dry pectin the same dosage as a tablespoon of liquid Certo?

A. Home cooks use both types of pectin to get their jams and preserves to jell. The proper quantities of these forms of pectin differ for making jams and jellies. Consequently, we suspect they would also differ for this home remedy to ease painful joints.

It appears that two teaspoons of Pomona’s Universal Pectin (powdered) will jell approximately the same quantity of fruit as one pouch of liquid Certo. Each pouch contains three fluid ounces (6 tablespoons). This means that one-third teaspoon of powdered pectin would be about equivalent to a tablespoon of liquid pectin. Of course, since we are talking about a home remedy, it may not be necessary to measure as carefully as you would when cooking. (Most measuring spoon sets don’t have a third-teaspoon measure.)

Powdered pectin doesn’t dissolve in juice as readily as Certo does, so you may need to shake it vigorously or put it in a blender. You can learn more about Certo and grape juice and other remedies in our eGuide to Alternatives for Arthritis. (Don’t plan on printing this online resource. It is too long.)

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Some people have found pectin in purple grape juice helpful for other types of pain besides arthritis. We have heard from readers who have tried this versatile remedy for plantar fasciitis. This condition produces foot pain that is most noticeable first thing in the morning. Sufferers describe the foot as exquisitely tender for the first several steps upon arising. It may also interfere with walking and running later in the day.

Certo and Grape Juice for Plantar Fasciitis:

Q. Certo and grape juice worked for me. I had terrible plantar fasciitis and had stopped exercising completely for a year. I’d also tried foot exercises and vitamins, but nothing helped. Taking Certo in grape juice every day completely cured my foot pain in two and a half weeks!

Purple Pectin Helped Foot Pain:

A. We first heard about combining Certo (liquid plant pectin used to make jams and jellies) with grape juice about 20 years ago. Most people report that this combination we dub “purple pectin” eases their arthritis pain.

You are the first reader to suggest that this formula could be beneficial for plantar fasciitis. This painful condition is caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot. Usually heel pain is most acute upon arising, and sometimes it helps to flex the foot, stretching the toes toward the knee, before getting out of bed.

Grape Juice for Inflammation:

The compounds in purple grape juice can reduce inflammation in recreational runners (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, Sep., 2015).  Test-tube research backs up the anti-inflammatory effect of anthocyanins from grapes (Food & Function, Apr., 2015). Scientists have also conducted experiments in laboratory rats that demonstrate grape compounds inhibit inflammation (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Feb. 10, 2019).

There are a number of recipes for this home remedy. One of the most popular calls for one tablespoon of Certo in 6 to 8 ounces of Concord grape juice. You can learn more about Certo & grape juice for joint pain as well as other remedies for plantar fasciitis in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

Will Powdered Pectin in Grape Juice Help Plantar Fasciitis?

If you wish, you could also experiment by adding powdered pectin to purple grape juice, as suggested above. Please let us know how well it works for your plantar fasciitis.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Alternatives for Arthritis

This eGuide describes nondrug alternatives for arthritis with the latest scientific studies to document anti-inflammatory activity. This comprehensive online guide (too long to print) adds the science behind ancient healing traditions.

Alternatives for Arthritis
  • Toscano LT et al, "Potential ergogenic activity of grape juice in runners." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Sep. 2015. DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0152
  • Kuntz S et al, "Inhibition of low-grade inflammation by anthocyanins from grape extract in an in vitro epithelial-endothelial co-culture model." Food & Function, April 2015. DOI: 10.1039/c4fo00755g
  • Chen F et al, "Grape seed proanthocyanidin inhibits monocrotaline-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension via attenuating inflammation: In vivo and in vitro studies." Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, online Feb. 10, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.01.013
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What does drinking certo with grape juice do to your body?

I have been using Certo and grape juice for over 6 years now, and it works wonderfully. I first read about it in a newspaper column by peoples pharmacy in my local paper. At that time it was recommended that we use Welches White Grape juice. Does it matter which type of grape is used? White or concord?

Most people use Concord grape juice, and there is (a little) evidence to support its use.

I have a pill capsule filling machine and make my own pills with powdered pectin. I do the same with ginger and turmeric (and I add black pepper). It’s tedious but worth the effort.

The Certo liquid pectin has a preservative in it so I would like to try the Pomona Pectin which claims no preservatives. I see that the Pomona variety comes with 2 packets – 1 packet low methyl citrus pectin and 1 packet mono calcium phosphate. Do I use just the pectin to mix with the grape juice, or should I mix both the pectin and the calcium phosphate in with the grape juice? Thank you for your help.

The calcium monophosphate is to help the pectin gel the preserves. We don’t know for sure, but we would try just the powdered pectin alone in grape juice.

For the past 8 months I have been using the Certo in diet grape/cranberry juice daily after reading about this in your column for relief with arthritis. I was skeptical if it would work but I am delighted to let you know it worked for me. I am 75 and a very active person. I was very stiff when I tried to stand after sitting. I could not walk up stairs on onto a curb without pain. Now I don’t have either problem after using the Certo remedy every day.

Has anyone had experience with Certo/Grape juice for foot neuropathy relief, not diabetes related?

Purple Pectin, a remedy I have long been looking for. First heard of the mixture back in Feb or Mar while living on Naproxen and associated meds to relieve the daily grind of pain in joints and across the body from the type of work I do. I have found using the Welches and powdered pectin work best and does dissolve quite easily in the bottle. I generally take out the first 8 oz and put in a table spoon of dry to add with my breakfast, just stir it up, not much residue in bottom when through. Pour the rest in the bottle and shake, shake vigorisly each time you go to get your morning or evening dose (4 or 8 oz) is all I take daily, morning or evening. My body has felt quite pain free, especially after a hard day’s work. My feet are quite a different story as I was told when a young boy they looked like an 80 year old man’s feet; lots of pain and plantars warts to go with them. Purple Pectin has really helped, especially with cramps at bedtime, my toes don’t feel like they have been staked out to dry like a stretch hide. Good Luck. I found the cheapest place to get both items is at the Dollar General Stores. I also use mustard for cramps at night as I work 12 hour shifts varying throughout the week, by the 3rd day I’m ready to be had when my legs begin to thrash while trying to sleep; usually a table spoon of yellow mustard under the tongue does the trick in less than 30 seconds.

You keep showing Welch’s purple grape juice. It is the WHITE grape juice from green grapes that have the power of healing!! I have been using my routine for over five years! I do not get arthritis pain!!

I also had trouble finding Certo until I found it on Amazon. Now I have it delivered to my door.

On the question of how much powdered pectin to use in grape juice, I use a scant half tablespoon in 6 – 8 ounces of grape juiced, taking it once a day. Not knowing how much actual pectin is in Certo, I tried that amount and it provided relief within a few days. I put it in a small blender and it mixes well there. My husband is now taking it also, and it is greatly reducing the pain and stiffness he was experiencing. Before “purple pectin” he could barely walk when he got home from work some days, 12 hours on his feet on concrete, and he hasn’t come home in that shape since he began taking the pectin and juice.

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