logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Cookie Power for Devastating Diarrhea!

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.

Rate this article
4.5- 4 ratings
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. .
Digestive Disorders

Download this guide to getting off heartburn medicine. Preventing ulcers. Effective treatments for constipation and diarrhea. Foods and drugs that cause gas.

Digestive Disorders
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 10 comments
Add your comment

Did not know macaroons could cause diverticulitis flare ups. Ate 2 big macaroons last night and now I am really suffering. I have some Flagyl on hand but I’m about to start chemo. Think i should take antibiotics anyway. Not sure how antibiotics react with chemo. My body is a mess.

I suffer from ulcerative colitis and I have discovered that a little coconut a few times a week holds off my flare ups. It has been so long since I’ve had a flare up that I can’t remember my last one. I am grateful that my husband heard the discussion on People’s Pharmacy regarding coconut and I hope others also find success with coconut as well. On my last visit to my doctor (my colonoscopy) he was so impressed with my results that he wanted to know what I was doing to remain so healthy. He seemed genuinely interested to learn more.

Coconut macaroons work! Or at least they did for me. I decided to make them (very simple) instead of buy them to save money. But before I had time to make them, I ate about 2 tablespoons of plain coconut and didn’t have any diarrhea after that. I made the cookies anyway, store them in a covered container and refrigerate.
I had been prescribed an Rx for this problem of nearly 3 months… including a trip to the ER because I knew I had to be dehydrated… and the diarrhea continued. Thank you to whoever discovered this. I am and will be forever grateful!

I recently read about using this coconut treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I use homemade macaroon cookies (found a good recipe on the internet), Keebler’s Coconut Dreams cookies, and even Mounds bars. I have been, for 3 weeks now, diarrhea-FREE for the first time in 20 years! It’s like a miracle! I have my life back again!

you can use coconut oil or coconut milk with good results. I make a smoothie with bananas, coconut milk and chia seeds. yummy!

As a side effect from the Metformin that I am prescribed for Type 2 Diabetes, I frequently had loose stools. After reading about the coconut macaroon use, I began eating a morning macaroon from a local grocery store’s bakery (actually the package indicates their origin is Canada). It has been very helpful for a couple of years now, with only an occasional breakthrough (somehow). I even like the ones with chocolate…only feeling slightly guilty about the extra sugar…

My cousin has started taking high doses (don’t know how much)of vitamin D3 and for the first time in years his symptoms are relieved.

How I cured diarrhea permanently about 5 + years ago.
Every morning without fail I take a big chaw of bakers coconut, a scoop of Circel mixed in orange juice and a healthy scoop of Tillamook nonfat yogurt. I guess you could mix the coconut and the yogurt together.
Works like a charm ! Take it with you if you’re on a trip. I GO once a day, rain or shine and eat anything I want.

Can coconut macaroon cookies help diverticulitis? What if the cookies were pulverized first, for fear that the coconut would get caught up in one’s gut? I have a friend with d. and gave her the cookies, but she said the coconut did a number on her insides. Coconut oil, perhaps??

I have IBS. I use coconut oil, coconut butter, and unsweetened shredded (naturally dried) coconut, and it has really helped me.
One must be careful, however, because constipation can result. Each person has to learn for herself how much of these products to use. My doctor has me take one to two tablespoons of coconut oil a day. This can be used as is or in stir fries, on cereal, in yogurt, smoothies, etc.
A good book is Coconut Cures. It can be found in health food stores. Amazon might have it.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^