Though Juliet is right that a rose “would smell as sweet” if we called it a carbuncle, there is something meaningful about how we use language to name a thing. Language is powerful and reinforcing. We use it casually, and yet it still informs our experience.
I’m not saying we should expect natural medicine not to work. It should work. We just shouldn’t expect it to behave and feel like biomedicine, because it doesn’t and it won’t.
It can be a shift in thinking for people to consider herbs – something they typically use “just” for seasoning – as medicine. As is often the case, we can recognize the potential of these things if we consider what happens when we overdo it.