Dr. Johnston will be away from the office until September 21st in honor of her marriage.  Please send an e-mail or leave a phone message and she will get back to you as soon as possible after that point.  For emergencies and needed healthcare Dr. Noelle Butler will be available at (406) 595-3344.  Be well and enjoy the changing of the seasons.


Today I woke early without our usual breakfast ingredients in the house.  No eggs, no fresh chard – uh oh.  Instead of driving into town, I decided to get creative.  Here is an easy and lovely recipe for gluten-free, egg-free, scones.  These scones could be made as a vegan version, however organic butter is an incredible substance and the only form of dairy I consume.  Despite its bad name, butter is a superfood – containing Vitamins A, D, E, and K along with healthy fats needed for hormone production, cellular repair, and so many other essential functions.  Similarly, butter is also rich in trace minerals such as selenium – an antioxidant and a necessary cofactor for thyroid hormone production.  Butter also contains butyric acid, the preferred “food” for the cells in the colon and also known to be protective for colon cancer.

Ok – enough of the science!  Let’s eat!

Gluten Free Sunday Morning Scones:

Preheat the oven to 375º


2  1/3 cup of gluten free flour mix (this morning I used Pamela’s)

1/3 cup organic unrefined sugar (or a substitute such a maple syrup)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

8 tablespoons organic butter – at room temperature (you can use a good quality non-hydrogenated margarine)

2/3 cup milk (I used homemade almond milk)

2 tsp arrowroot flour with 1 T water (or one egg or another egg replacer)

1 T. organic yogurt (I use coconut yogurt)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup currants


1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Sifting the flour helps with lumps and bumps.  If you do not have a sifter use a fork to break up any pieces of flour.

2. Cut the butter into the dry mixture- you can do this with two knives, special gizmos for pastry making, or use your hands!  The butter should become integrated so that your bowl contains pea-sized flour-butter bits with no left over flour on the bottom.

3. Mix the arrowroot and water together and set aside.

4. Add the almond extract, the yogurt, the apple cider vinegar, and the arrowroot mixture to the dry ingredients.

5. Add the milk and stir until evenly distributed.  The batter will be thick.

6. Stir in the currants and the coconut.

7. If you have time place the dough back into the fridge for at least two hours.  (This will help the dough have shape later during the cooking process) If you are hungry, like I was, put big dollops of the batter onto a cookie sheet.  (Your scones might not be perfectly shaped – but they still taste wonderful!)  Using your hands, shape them into scone shapes.  Put in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes.

8. Enjoy!

Are you dealing with a runny nose, itching eyes, congestion, sneezing and fatigue this year?  The long winter, rainy spring, and sudden burst of summer has sent many people here in Bozeman into the grim realm of having allergic rhinitis – or “hay-fever” – for some the worst symptoms in a decade.  The issue is not only “hay” however, dust, mold, pollen, and animal dander all trigger these immediate reactions and each season has its own particular flavor of allergen.

People can acquire an allergy to anything that is small enough to be carried in the air and land on the tissues that line our nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory tract.  Once the body recognizes these as foreign, the immune system goes to work releasing histamine and other substances intended to protect us from these invaders.  Our symptoms are therefore, the body doing its best to keep us healthy — although it certainly does not feel that way when we are sniffly and swollen.

Common treatment of allergies includes antihistamines, immune suppression such as steroids, and other pharmaceuticals that act as a band-aid.  Often these work temporarily but more often-than-not I have patients coming to me frustrated and feeling over-medicated.  So what’s the solution?

Firstly, I say it daily – we are all individuals, so one person’s allergy answer might not be yours.  That said, there are common actions we can take and natural substances that can help.  The best way to deal with allergies is to optimize your immune system through a healthy lifestyle and diet.  It’s simple really – just as a bucket can only hold so much water until it spills over, our bodies can only process so many offending substances until it produces symptoms of illness.  In it’s widsom, the body is trying at all times to maintain homeostasis – but it can only handle so much!  So – proper nutrition including avoiding food intolerances/sensitivities, exercise, rest, relaxation, a healthy environment, finding purpose, and fun are all necessary parts of feeling well and avoiding allergies.  As we minimize overall inflammation in the body, we decrease the body’s total burden and allow it to respond in a more balanced fashion to external irritants.

Along with lifestyle and diet, we can include things in our day to day regimen that help balance the immune system and minimize allergies:  high quality essential fatty acids such as fish or evening primrose oil, Vitamin D, probiotics, and bioflavonoids are all substances studied and proven to help with allergies.  Dietarily we can include pineapple, nettles, leafy greens, and berries to provide basic anti-inflammatory nutrients.  And then there are other options such as gemmotherapies, nutraceuticals, botanicals, homeopathics, and manipulation that your doctor can prescribe for your unique constitution.  For more information contact Dr. Holcomb at 406-585-9113.

Your life does not have to be ruled by allergies or by the side effects of allergy medications.  There are options!  Below is a recipe for nettle pesto – make food your medicine!!

  • 2 cups Nettle tips (leaves) – watch out for the sting!!
  • 6 Mint leaves
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Pine Nuts or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin cold pressed organic Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Nettle Pesto Recipe – Ingredients

  1. Pick your nettle leaves from the stems – use rubber gloves to do this.  Rinse the nettles in a colander to remove any dirt, insects etc.
  2. Boil a pot of water and place your nettles inside for one minute – this will remove the sting.  Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Place all ingredients (except for oil) in a food processor and pulse until chopped up.  Slowly add the oil as you are blending – scrape down the sides of the processor as needed.
  4. The pesto be used straight away or stored in sterilised jars for around a month in the fridge.  Use on rice/quinoa pasta, salmon, grilled veggies, or on a baked sweet potato!

Plasma Antioxidants From Chocolate

Dark chocolate may offer its consumers health benefits the milk variety cannot match.

There is some speculation that dietary flavonoids from chocolate, in particular epicatechin, may promote cardiovascular health as a result of direct antioxidant effects or through antithrombotic mechanisms1–3. Here we show that consumption of plain, dark chocolate results in an increase in both the total antioxidant capacity and the epicatechin content of blood plasma, but that these effects are markedly reduced when the chocolate is consumed with milk or if milk is incorporated as milk chocolate. Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate in vivo and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.

To determine the antioxidant content of different chocolate varieties, we took dark chocolate and milk chocolate prepared from the same batch of cocoa beans and defatted them twice with n-hexane before extracting them with a mixture of water, acetone and acetic acid (70.0:29.8:0.2 by volume). We measured their in vitro total antioxidant capacities using the ferric-reducing anti- oxidant potential (FRAP) assay4; FRAP values were 147.4.5 and 78.3.mol reduced iron per 100 g for dark and milk chocolate, respectively. Volunteers must therefore consume twice as much milk chocolate as dark chocolate to receive a similar intake of antioxidants.

We recruited 12 healthy volunteers (7 women and 5 men with an average age of 32.1.0 years (range, 25–35 years). Sub- jects were non-smokers, had normal blood lipid levels, were taking no drugs or vitamin supplements, and had an average weight of 65.3.1 kg (range, 46.0–86.0 kg) and body-mass index of 21.0.4 kg 2 (range, 18.6–23.6 kg 2). On different days, following a crossover experimental design, subjects consumed 100 g dark chocolate, 100 g dark chocolate with 200 ml full-fat milk, or 200 g milk chocolate (containing the equivalent of up to 40 ml milk).

One hour after subjects had ingested the chocolate, or chocolate and milk, we measured the total antioxidant capacity of their plasma by FRAP assay. Plasma anti- oxidant levels increased significantly after consumption of dark chocolate alone, from 103.5% to 118.3.5% (t-test, P<0.001), returning to baseline values (95.3.6%) after 4 h (Fig. 2a). There was no significant change in plasma FRAP values over the same period after ingestion of milk chocolate alone or of dark chocolate with milk.

The areas under the curves of epicatechin plasma levels plotted against time were measured over the same 4-h period after ingestion for the three different conditions. Absorption of epicatechin into the bloodstream after ingestion of chocolate was significantly less when the chocolate was accompanied by milk 46.4.1%; analysis of variance (ANOVA), P<0.001) or if the chocolate itself contained milk (69.3.9%; ANOVA, P<0.001).

Addition of milk, either during ingestion or in the manufacturing process, therefore inhibits the in vivo antioxidant activity of chocolate and the absorption into the bloodstream of epicatechin.  Unlike its milky counterpart, dark chocolate may provide more than just a treat for the tastebuds.

Our findings highlight the possibility that the in vivo antioxidant activity of flavonoids could be impaired by other dietary constituents. Other food combinations may also counteract the absorption and protective effects of flavonoids. There is therefore a need to take into account dietary habits when designing studies to assess the association between flavonoid- rich foods, antioxidant activity and degenerative diseases.

Mauro Serafini*, Rossana Bugianesi*, Giuseppe Maiani*, Silvia Valtuena*, Simone De Santis*, Alan Crozier† *Antioxidant Research Laboratory, Unit of Human Nutrition, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy e-mail: serafini@inran.it †Plant Products and Human Nutrition Group, Graham Kerr Building, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK 1. Rein, D. et al. J. Nutr. 130, 2109S–2114S (2000). 2. Holt,R.R.,Schramm,D.D.,Keen,C.L.,Lazarus,S.A.&

Schmitz, H. H. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 287, 2212–2213 (2002). 3. Steinberg,F.M.,Bearden,M.N.&Keen,C.L.J.Am.Diet.Assoc.

103, 215–223 (2003). 4. Benzie, I. F. F. & Strain, J. J. Anal. Biochem. 239, 229–240 (1996). 5. Maiani, G., Serafini, M., Salucci, M., Azzini, E. & Ferro-Luzzi, A.

J. Chromatogr. B 692, 311–317 (1997). 6. Charlton, A. J. et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. 50, 1593–1601 (2002). 7. Serafini, M., Ghiselli, A. & Ferro-Luzzi, A. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 50,

28–32 (1996). Competing financial interests: declared none.

I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of Naturopathic medicine.

I will honor my teachers and all who have preserved and developed this knowledge and dedicate myself to supporting the growth and evolution of Naturopathic medicine.  I will endeavor to continually improve my abilities as a healer through study, reflection, and genuine concern for humanity.  I will impart knowledge of the advanced healing arts to dedicated colleagues and students.

Through precept, lecture, and example, I will assist and encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease, and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves, our families, and future generaterations.

According to my best ability and judgement, I will use methods of treatment which follow the principles of Naturopathic medicine:

First of all, to do no harm.

To act in cooperation with the Healing Power of NAture.

To address the fundamental causes of disease.

To heal the whole person through individualized treatment.

To teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.

I will conduct my life and the practice of Naturopathic health care with vigilance, integrity, and freedom from prejudice.  I will abstain from voluntary acts of injustice and corruption.  I will keep confidential whatever I am privileged to witness, whether professionally or privately, that should not be divulged.

With my whole heart, before this gathering of witnesses, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath.

February 1st and 2nd represent two days of reverence and celebration for female goddesses – the Celtic goddess Brigid and the Catholic Virgin Mary.  The name given to Brigid’s day is Imbolc – a reference to the flow of milk from a mother sheep to her child – a symbol of the return of spring and of the nourishment and life associated with the arrival of this season.  Brigid is said to breathe life into the land and its people, bringing warmth, fire, and light to rekindle the spark of abundance.  Brigid in her many manifestations is simultaneously the innocent maid of the spring and the wise woman who heals.  She was revered as powerful and giving – a woman who belonged to the East where the rising sun appears with the light to guide us.  Brigid is depicted as wearing white – the sign of peace and purity.  Similarly, February 2 is Virgin Mary’s feast for Purification.  Forty days after the birth of her son, Mary made the traditional offering for purification.  As in the pagan holiday, this day represents purity, the return of the light, and rebirth.

In honor of these wise women and the return of the light, spend some time in meditation on the upcoming year today.  What do you hope for?  How can you manifest abundance for yourself, your family, and your community?  What can you let go of, throw away, or clean out to create space for the new breath of life that is waiting to arrive?  Also, take a moment to offer gratitude for our ancestors – the wise women who birthed our lineage, your mother who carried you for nine months, the fertile Mother Earth who provides us with our nourishment.  Make an offering of some sort – burn a candle, burn old Christmas greens, recycle something that no longer serves you.  And finally, honor the space in you that is divinely feminine – whether you are a man or a woman.  We all contain the seeds of the next generation, a desire to nourish and be nourished, and the yin that complements the yang.

Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids Recall

Containers’ Moldy Odor to Blame for Recall of 60 Million Over-the-Counter Products

By Daniel J. DeNoon

WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 15, 2010 — Because of a sickening smell in some containers, 54 million packages of 27 different over-the-counter remedies now are being recalled.

Products include various types of child and/or adult Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids, and Simply Sleep. This adds to the 6 million packages of Tylenol recalled late last year, bringing the total number of recalled products to 60 million.

A musty, moldy odor coming from the products has sickened at least 70 people with nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms go away by themselves and no one has been seriously injured.

The FDA says Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Health Care knew of the problem for more than a year. When the company did act in November and December 2008, it did too little too late, said Deborah M. Autor, director of the FDA’s Office of Compliance.

“When something smells bad, literally or figuratively, companies must aggressively investigate and take all actions necessary to solve the problem,” Autor said at a news conference. “McNeil should have acted faster.”

The odor comes from a chemical, 2,4,6-tribromoanisole or TBA. TBA is produced when fungi break down a commonly used fungicide called 2,4,6-tribromophenol. The full health effects of TBA are not known.

Before being filled with product, product containers were stored on wooden pallets apparently treated with the fungicide. TBA seems to have infiltrated the product containers before they were filled.

The FDA inspected McNeil’s main plant at Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, and was not happy with what it found. The FDA says McNeil began receiving complaints in May 2008, but failed to investigate fully or to warn consumers in a timely manner.

The FDA has given McNeil 15 days to respond to its seven-point warning letter. In addition to the contamination issue, the FDA says there are product-quality issues with some Motrin products.

Specific products included in the recall include:

  • Children’s Motrin
  • Children’s Tylenol
  • Extra Strength Tylenol
  • Regular Strength Tylenol
  • Tylenol 8 Hour
  • Tylenol Arthritis
  • Tylenol PM
  • Benadryl
  • Motrin IB
  • Rolaids
  • Simply Sleep
  • St. Joseph Aspirin

A complete list of the recalled products, including package sizes, product types, lot numbers, and UPC codes, can be seen at www.mcneilproductrecall.com. Consumers with question can call McNeil at 888-222-6036.

Consumers who think they may have suffered ill effects from the products should contact the FDA at http://www.FDA.gov/medwatch.