The use of Valerian Root dates back to 460 B.C., where it became a common additive to food dishes to assist in relieving ill-tempered moods and remains a common practice in many parts of the world. It is effective in assisting people with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and is an overall beneficial stress reducer. However, many are unaware of the probative value Valerian Root offers animals.
In some respects, stress can have a greater impact on animals than it does on people. Habitat encroachment and the presence of humans can induce so much stress that it results in species extinction, which are not events experienced by the human population. Animals may respond with perceived erratic behavior due to the triggering of a "fight or flight" response, which is significantly more sensitive in animals than in people. This behavior is observed in zoos, shelters, pounds, and in the wild where humans urbanize animal living spaces. One such example is the infamous Tsavo lions that killed railway bridge builders.
At some point, people who live or work with a number of animals encounter seemingly erratic, hostile behavior. This is often the result of stress. The use of Valerian Root, as part of their regular diet, greatly reduces these types of outbursts, and subsequently reduces the number of injuries associated with stress frenzy. Here are some simple ways to use Valerian Root to aid in animal stress reduction.
- Break open Valerian Root capsules and mix into animal kibble.
- Most cats love the pungent aroma of Valerian Root. Break open some capsules and pour onto a cat scratcher. Typically, cats will appear excited and attempt to roll around in the herb. This is a display of contentment and they remain calm, rather than becoming over amped.
- When making horse cookies add the herb into the mix, or make a divot in a piece of apple and put some of the herb inside.
- Rub the herb on a dog's chew toy, or fill a Kong with a blend of peanut butter and Valerian Root. To coat tough outer toy surfaces, simply mix the herb in some fresh water or olive oil and dip.
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