Q. Sorry to repeat a question I know you’ve answered, but at the time I didn’t know someone with the problem.
My niece has recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and in spite of medication is in a lot of pain and has a lot of diarrhea. I seem to remember Archway coconut macaroons was helpful for something like this, but want to make sure I remember correctly before I suggest it to her. Can you tell me where I can find a reprint of the article?
A. We have been writing about Donald Agar’s story for nearly 15 years. Here is his original account, published November 30, 1998:
“I have had Crohn’s disease for 40 years, and during that time I have had a never-ending battle with diarrhea. Lomotil helps some, but it doesn’t eliminate the problem.
“Three months ago, I bought a box of Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies. I’ve been eating two a day and I have not experienced diarrhea in that time. If by chance I eat three in a day, I get constipated. Believe me, I have a new life now.
“My brother-in-law has a friend who just had cancer and suffered diarrhea as a consequence of the operation. We told him about the cookies and they corrected his diarrhea. I would be delighted if others were helped by my discovery, too.”
We responded to Donald: “We are puzzled by this home remedy for serious diarrhea. We cannot logically explain why Archway Coconut Macaroons would be helpful. They are high in fat and contain modified starch, egg white, soy lecithin, sweeteners and coconut. If anyone can else can duplicate your success we would love to hear about it.”
Since that original publication in our syndicated newspaper column we have heard from hundreds of people who maintain that the coconut macaroon cookies helped them. Here are just a few stories:
“When one has chronic diarrhea due to Crohn’s disease he will try anything for relief.
“I read in a recent column about the person who controlled his diarrhea by eating two Archway coconut macaroon cookies a day and decided to give it a try. Relief for me has not been perfect, and it is somewhat inconsistent, but I’ve had the problem 25 years. There is substantial improvement, better than from any medicine I have taken.
“If the drug research people got wind of this, they could buy out Archway and develop a pill with the ingredients. Then they’d sell it for $5 a pop instead of cookies that sell for $2 or $3 a dozen. And the cookies are delicious!”
We assure you that the People’s Pharmacy has no interest in selling cookies. And Archway Cookies disavows any interest in relieving diarrhea. Donald received the following response to his letter to the company:
“We are happy that Archway Coconut Macaroon Cookies have allegedly helped you…Archway Cookies, Inc. would like our consumers to know that there is no medical basis for such a claim; therefore, we do not support this claim.”
Apparently, the power of coconut macaroons is not limited to Archway brand cookies. We heard from one 85-year-old woman:
“Couldn’t find them at the supermarket, so I made my own. Presto! I am completely normal. It is still a miracle to me.
“I wonder if it isn’t something in the coconut that is the key. After all, cookie ingredients are about the same, commercial or home-made. I ate two a day for a week and now am fine on just a couple a week. It is hard to believe there is some relief for this awful condition.”
“I read your column on the effect that coconut macaroons might have on Crohn’s disease. Having suffered with this dread disease for years, I bought four boxes of Archway cookies. Much to my shock, there has been dramatic improvement in my diarrhea in less than a week.
“I am on prednisone, which has horrible side effects. My gastroenterologist pooh-poohed this new remedy, but the macaroons have given me far more relief than any medication I have taken.
“It is still too early to tell if this improvement is a temporary blip on the radar screen, but it is the first optimism that I have had in years! Thank you so much.”
“I read one of your articles mentioning someone giving Archway Coconut Macaroons to a dog. Like you, I can’t imagine how a coconut macaroon would stop diarrhea. My mother-in-law suffered from totally liquid bowel movements for about eight years without getting benefit from any prescription drug on the market. She had visited numerous doctors to no avail and had recently become somewhat homebound because of this problem.
“When my brother-in-law heard about coconut macaroons, he told her to try them. Within a couple of days her problem disappeared totally, to her total astonishment! I thought you’d like another unsolicited testimonial for Cookie Power!”
Not everyone gets benefit from coconut macaroon cookies or shredded coconut in their morning cereal. But enough do that we think this remedy is worth trying.
If you have ever experienced “Cookie Power,” please let us know. Share your experience (positive or negative) below.