Where do old wives remedies come from?

The book “Same Kind of Different as Me” mentions a Cow Tea that the youngster was forced to drink when he was ill. It’s made from lipton tea and ground up cow patty. Where did the idea for cow patties being healthy come from? I wonder who was like “hey, let me grind this up, and drink it and I won’t be sick.” What the what? There probably are probiotic type bacterias in that…. but really, I want to know where old wives remedies came from.

Indians chewed on willow bark <- has main ingredient of asprin
Egyptians used honey on wounds <-sterilizing, and kept other bacteria out
Native Americans also peed on dandelion roots for a pregnancy test
I’m not remembering any other examples right now. But I know there are many.

Where did this knowledge come from? And, why do we view it as primitive if it takes centuries to get the science to back it?

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