I know there are some plants which need a little bit of help in order to root from a cutting, and the conventional method is to use a commercial rooting hormone, but I would like to know if anyone has experience using any other kinds of things in place of these hormones? I have heard that cow manure and honey can be used. Has anyone used manure or honey and had success?
Take some willow cuttings, soak them in water, and use the water on your new cuttings. Here's a link which explains the chemistry. If you have any further questions, by all means ask. I use this method myself and it works. I don't know how you are going to find plant growth hormones in honey or cow manure; I think the critters break down compounds like that rather than pass them through.
I didn't even see the postscript with the same link. Yes, it works.
At home, I use raw honey for rooting cuttings. The reason why it works and does so well is because honey is a good antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. In addition, it contains lots of simple sugars and amino acids to feed the cuttings. The honey itself does not contain hormones; it is just good food to help the plant figure it out what to do on its own. I have heard that saliva can also be used because it has antiseptic properties.