Plus, advice about pomegranate juice and statins, and how to clear up a different kind of digestive-tract trouble.

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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: Many readers have reported that Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies can help relieve chronic diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome. We’re delighted to learn that other brands also work.

For those who wish to make their own coconut macaroon cookies, here is a recipe a listener of our radio show shared:

2 2/3 cup shredded coconut

2/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract 4 egg whites.

Mix ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 325 F or until lightly browned.

Q: I read that if you drink pomegranate juice, it could make statins more dangerous, just like grapefruit juice. Is that true?

A: There are some articles on the web that warn about an interaction between pomegranate juice and statins. They were not based on human research, however. One study we found was titled “Pomegranate juice does not affect the disposition of simvastatin in healthy subjects” (European Journal of Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, August 2016). The authors conclude that if there is an interaction, it probably is not clinically significant.

Q: My husband and I are taking a combination of grape juice and pectin for arthritis pain, and it is definitely helping my hips. But my husband has found another reason for using it. He has been able to stop using all his other aids for constipation!

For years he has had to use Citrucel and recently added milk of magnesia to his regimen. But the grape/pectin combo just twice a day has eliminated the need for anything else. (He takes 2 teaspoons in 3 ounces of grape juice twice daily.) He’s sold on it.

A: A reader who was disappointed with gin-soaked raisins for arthritis pain wrote to us over 20 years ago to report that Certo in purple grape juice worked wonders for his sore joints. Liquid pectin (Certo) is soluble fiber extracted from plants. It can be found in the home-canning section of grocery stores. That’s because it helps thicken jams and jellies.

Chinese researchers have confirmed your observation about constipation. They performed a randomized clinical trial testing plant pectin against placebo (Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi, Dec. 30, 2014). The scientists reported that soluble dietary fiber accelerated the time food residue passed through the colon and reduced symptoms of constipation. There also was an improvement in the bacterial ecology of the digestive tract.

You can learn more about these and many other natural remedies in our book, “Graedons’ Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.” It may be purchased for $12.95 plus $3 shipping and handling from The People’s Pharmacy, Dept. AFA, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717 or online at