Haven't we all read Romeo and Juliet? And who can't recall that famous line when Juliet is arguing that what we call something really isn't all that important:
"What's in a name? That which we call.." etc, and on she goes.
Well then here's a funny: Dihydrogen monoxide. Doesn't it sound delightfully complex and chemically sinister? And here is an outrageously hilarious website to tell you all about it too(I have loved this one for years!): _http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
Actually, how a substance is named can be pretty darned important. A simple thing can be made to sound complicated, a sinister thing can be made to seem harmless, and an everyday thing can be made to seem exotic. Sometimes I like to roll the scientific names of plants around in my mouth for the full rich taste, or savor some antiquated nomenclature for sheer enjoyment. Lets contemplate orris now and note how fantasmic an iris can sound! Here I am with a plethora of orris yet I cannot make myself dig up and dry a single precious root for use as a scent fixative. Could I let one of my flower rhizomes languish and desiccate for a couple of years in order to enhance a sachet-oh no I cannot! Thank goodness Mountain Rose Herbs has already done that for fainthearted heavily attached to my beauties me! So, there one can buy orris in the form of Iris germanica when in stock. There are certain members of the mint family that sound wretched when identified by their common names-take purple dead nettle for instance. Ugh-purple and dead doesn't sound good at all-especially when attached to nettle! That's one I use that I just can't resist puffing with a fancier moniker. Lamium purpureum sounds mysterious doesn't it? But, wouldn't it be dreadful to use some Arachis hypogaea oil as an ingredient in a soap and expose people to it that did not know that this was merely the scientific name for peanut oil? So many people can have extreme reactions to certain nuts and their byproducts!
Generally, I like to stick to the most widely known monikers for things unless that moniker is just really really unappealing to me, and thus I think unappealing to the world at large. Starwort is more appealing than chickweed, and Stellaria even more satisfying I think. Would I rather think of hungry chickens or stars?
The names of substances used in homeopathic medical preparations can be baffling, and I am the sort that if I do not understand the name-heck no I'm not using it! I see very little difference in the attempted disguising of potentially harmful chemicals in products on the shelves of the local store through scientific chemical names and the use of scientific or antiquated names in natural products. But, the herbs have a romantic appeal when puffed with the grand words and both are quite re-searchable.