Hunting Down Alabama Old-Time Manure Tea

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Hunting Down Alabama Old-Time Manure Tea

by Karen Yochim
Southern Cultures, Vol. 13, No. 1: Spring 2007

"Owing to the soaring prices of pharmaceuticals, I thought it wise to track down a woman who is known for brewing an old-time, all-purpose Alabama cure-all: cow-manure tea."

Owing to the soaring prices of pharmaceuticals, I thought it wise to track down a woman who is known for brewing that old-time, all-purpose Alabama cure-all, cow-manure tea. Where I live in Acadiana, I’m in the habit of asking Cajun elders about their home remedies. They have numerous unusual cures handed down for the more than two centuries they’ve lived in Louisiana—swallowing alligator oil or drinking dried chicken gizzard-skin tea, for example—but manure tea is not in the old-time Cajun medicine chest. I don’t yet know what culture began the use of manure tea, but there is an old French Canadian cure for sore throat using cow manure.