The People's Perspective on Medicine

Did Coconut Save Man’s Life?

Q. I heard that a man with Crohn’s disease got relief from diarrhea by eating coconut. My husband had been having diarrhea almost every day since 2004. We never knew what caused it and the gastro doctor could not cure it.
I talked my husband into taking shredded coconut (a spoonful morning and night). He was skeptical, but after a couple of months the symptoms faded and now they are gone.
When we moved to Florida my husband weighed 175 lbs. Starting in 2004, his weight kept dropping, eventually to 127 (very thin for a man 5’10”). He was miserable. I thought that if he kept losing weight he would die.
He is now back to 160 lbs., looks great and has his energy back. My life has improved too because my husband is once again enjoying life with me!

A. There is no scientific evidence that coconut can ease symptoms of Crohn’s disease or other chronic conditions that cause diarrhea. Nonetheless, we have heard from hundreds of readers who have benefitted from this inexpensive and safe approach.
When we first hear about this remedy, the recommendation was for two coconut macaroon cookies a day. Some people who try to avoid cookies and other sources of excess sugar experimented with unsweetened coconut, either fresh or dried, and found that it too frequently could help deter diarrhea. We suspect that some of the fats in coconut may be responsible.

Rate this article
4.3- 7 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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 6 comments
Add your comment

I have suffered with intermittent diarrhea for about a year, at the rate of 5 or 6 times per day. It has been embarrassing, accidents have occurred and I have experienced frequent UTI’s as a result of cross-contamination. Bacterial infections have been ruled out as the cause for the diarrhea, so I have been told it could be IBS. Before I go the route of taking a medication for this possible condition, I will try eating some organic coconut flakes every day for at least a month. I tried the coconut cookies treatment for about a month without results. If you believe the oil in the coconut flakes could be the ingredient that provides relief to many, would consuming a tablespoon of organic coconut oil per day be another option?

To DS; I share your concern. Not only for myself but for all the unfortunate souls out there who have been browbeaten into regular doctor “checkups”. The result is usually a sentence to some sort of life support medication and a downward spiral into lifetime dependency. I have become convinced that the medical profession as it is practiced today (and the operant word is practiced) has become an advocacy for better living through chemistry. I am 84 years old, have ideal cholesterol, testosterone ,and all other blood chemistry results are optimal. I take NO prescription drugs and have been asked by medical specialists (including my own doctor who I see as seldom as possible) what I do to stay so healthy. I hate to tell them that I do it by staying as far away from them as possible.
My conjecture is that doctors do not understand all they know and are abysmally ignorant regarding nutrition and supplementation.

Jeff: The Peoples Pharmacy has a great website that sends out several times a week the articles that they syndicate nationally in papers. I suggest that you subscribe at
and view this important, non-commercial data often. This article about Crohn’s and coconut therapy will interest.
Merry Christmas to all!

I had a similar problem turned out to be a gluten was no help..didn’t try coconut which is new to me…I did take potassium and magnesium at 1:3 ,and low gluten diet..helped. the episode lasted about 6 mos. and didn’t return

Those of us who read this column believe in this, but since no drug rep will tell a doctor about it, doctors like mine will scoff at it.

For years, I have kept a bag of unsweetened coconut in my frig to use as a medicine for diarrhea. It has always worked. Getting the amount just right, so that it does not cause constipation, takes a bit of adjusting. And, the results are not immediate. It takes a day or two.

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