It appears that peppermint oil may have several mechanisms of action [including smooth muscle relaxation, visceral sensitivity modulation, anti-microbial effects, anti-inflammatory activity and modulation of psychosocial distress]. Peppermint oil has been found to affect oesophageal, gastric, small bowel, gall-bladder, and colonic physiology. It has been used to facilitate completion of colonoscopy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Placebo controlled studies support its use in irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, childhood functional abdominal pain, and post-operative nausea. Few adverse effects have been reported in peppermint oil trials."
"Recent work by Dr. Eva Kimonis and others also suggests that some individuals develop psychopathic features following extreme childhood adversity, such as maltreatment. It is thought that callous behaviour in these individuals is in effect a ‘coping strategy’, a way to deal with extreme threat and / or neglect in their surroundings. In a chapter that we wrote together, Eva and I called the psychopathic features in these individuals a ‘behavioural phenocopy’. What we mean by this is that although their behaviour is callous, these individuals show heightened emotional arousal to other people’s distress. This is not something we typically see in individuals with psychopathy, who usually do not usually show arousal response to other people’s suffering."
Ask the Expert: Q & A with Dr. Essi Viding