archway coconut macaroon cookies

Have you ever had acute diarrhea? Almost everyone has. You know how unpleasant the experience can be, even if it only lasts for a few hours. Millions of people suffer from chronic diarrhea. It can be devastating. Accidents happen. They’re embarrassing and hard to deal with if they happen away from home. A child’s diarrhea problem is especially challenging for parents as this reader relates.

Coconut Macaroon Cookies to the Rescue for Child’s Diarrhea!

Q. After reading about coconut macaroon cookies for diarrhea in your newsletter, I had my son try this remedy. He has had diarrhea every day for a couple of years.

I bought him some Trader Joe’s Coconut Macaroons. They worked on day one of the trial and have worked every day for a month.

His stools are soft but with no diarrhea. Placebo? Well, just yesterday he told me he forgot to eat the cookies two days in a row. His diarrhea came back on the second day. A daily macaroon cookie is one “pill” he now remembers to take!

A. In 1998 we heard from a reader of our syndicated newspaper column. Donald Agar lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He had suffered from chronic diarrhea due to Crohn’s disease. This is a devastating inflammatory bowel condition that is hard to treat.

Donald told us that two Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies daily controlled his diarrhea. Since then, many readers have reported that Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies helped relieve chronic diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome. We’re delighted to learn that other brands also work.

Could Cookies Save a Child’s Life?

Kat wrote to share a story about macaroons for her child’s diarrhea:

“An article ran in the Oregonian newspaper about coconut macaroon cookies for diarrhea. My elderly father called my son to tell him of a ‘cookie that could save his life.’

“My son asked me, ‘Mom, did you write in to the paper?’ He thought there were just too many coincidences! He did know that I have been online – searching for whatever holistic assistance I can find, since his Crohn’s diagnosis. His specialist has a pharmaceutical background, and I have no intention of seeing my child on lifelong meds.

“The great news is that he has gained back 14 pounds of the 22 lost, as of this past week.”

Cookies for a Child’s Diarrhea:

For those who wish to make their own coconut macaroon cookies, here is a recipe a listener of our radio show shared. Her grandchildren love these cookies!

Mix 22/3 cup shredded coconut, 2/3 cup sugar, ¼ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. almond extract, 4 egg whites. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees or until lightly brown.

Do you Love Recipes that Are Also Remedies?

You will find Carolyn’s coconut macaroon recipe in our book, Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. You will also find recipes for managing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol and fighting coughs and colds. There is a section on preventing hypertension.

We have recipes for dealing with indigestion and combating joint pain and arthritis. Why not let food be your medicine with Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy?

The book may be purchased for $14.95 plus $3 shipping and handling from:

  • The People’s Pharmacy; Dept. R&R
  • PO Box 52027;
  • Durham, NC 27717

or you can order

online at

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  1. Ray Flaherty

    I tried homemade with no success.

  2. PattyP

    Readers need to know that the recipe is missing an important step – whisk the eggs and everything else (except the coconut) together until very frothy before mixing in the coconut just enough to moisten it. A Google search will give you detailed instructions for those who need them.

    I ‘d read here before about eating coconut macaroons for diarrhea. I was skeptical, thinking that if my stomach was that upset, the cookies would make it worse. I’ve tried it and it works every time! I’ve been on some antibiotics and the cookies allow me to go once or twice daily instead of all day long. I use Jenny’s Macaroons I buy from my favorite vitamin and natural foods site online. Jenny’s, though sweet, contain more sulfite-free coconut than anything else. Chewy and delicious. They are moist and gooey and come in a re-sealable can. Archers’, though tasty, are way too sweet for me and more like a regular crunchy cookie in texture.

  3. Maureen
    Portland Oregon

    I buy a package of large flake UNsweetened coconut then toast it myself. It’s delicious and works well without any extra sugar.
    Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite brand.
    It’s a local company close to Portland.

  4. Judy
    Trinity, NC

    I too had an older neighbor who had a colonoscopy, and they punctured her colon which sent her to the hospital for surgery to correct. From then on she had problems with diarrhea, and I had read about coconut maccaroons and bought them for her. They helped her also. Love Peoples’ Pharmacy for the home remedies and all the info we get through your interviews with doctors. Thank You! I know we need meds sometimes but I like to try natural first.

  5. Janet

    After reading about the macaroons in your column, I tried it for my IBS. It works! I really didn’t expect it to, but I no longer use anti-diarrheal meds.

  6. Karla
    Cumming, GA

    About 10 months ago I had extreme diarrhea that would not go away. I lost 12 pounds in about 3 weeks. After going to a gastroenterologist and having a colonoscopy I was found to have microscopic colitis. I am 72 years old and have been very healthy. I have never been hospitalized and take no meds. I have been a lap swimmer for 45 years, I walk and I go to spin class. While waiting for the results of the colonoscopy I read in Peoples Pharmacy about coconut so I decided to try it. Within two days the diarrhea improved and in a week I was so much improved that I was back to normal life. I eat 2 tablespoons each morning with fruit and yogurt. I don’t know why this works and neither does my doctor, but it is better than medications.

  7. c

    That is a lot of sugar. Can you sub something else?
    Coconut in it self is good tasting. Would 1/4 cup sugar with more coconut work?

    • Joe Graedon

      We agree, that is a lot of sugar. Go with whatever tastes right for you.

  8. Janine
    San Francisco Bay Area

    This article reminds me of the low FODMAP diet that helped my diarrhea from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I had never had diarrhea before, but I had had IBS when I was younger. My doctor told me I had no intestinal infection, but she didn’t have any helpful suggestion for how to solve my problem. So I went online and discovered this relatively new discovery (first proposed in 2005). I don’t know if it will help people with Crohn’s but it helps 75% of people with IBS.

    It’s a strange diet — the FODMAP foods one must avoid are certain sugars and fibers, including lactose (dairy, but hard cheese is okay), soy milk (but tofu is okay), and many other foods, like onions.

  9. Rose
    Clearwater, Fl

    I swear by Archway coconut macaroons for diarrhea! The most delicious remedy. Works better than several OTC products.

  10. Gerry

    I use macaroon cookies from save a lot grocery which are only 99 cents a package and very good. They work, too!

  11. Kathy
    Northern WI

    For the past few years I’ve been reading about Archway Coconut Macaroons for acute diarrhea but have never been able to find any in my area. Every other Archway cookie is available but never the macaroons. Frustrating to know that there’s a simple product that might help, but can’t be found in any grocery store. So thank you for providing a recipe to make your own!

  12. Martha

    Well—that’s interesting. BUT there is no discussion or a hint of a reference—as to WHY and how the ingredients in macaroons could halt diarrhea.

    • ReaderX

      Agree with Martha; What is the scientific explanation proposed by People’s Pharmacy? Magic isn’t an acceptable answer.

  13. Jim
    Danville, Va.

    Had an older friend who suffered from IBS. Gave him a package of macaroons, and he declared them a miracle. Worked amazingly well.

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