Is Valerian compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Valerian?

Valerian

July 2, 2015 (Low Risk)

At last update significant data on breastfeeding were not found.

A commonly used herb in many cultures and countries, even during pregnancy and breastfeeding with very few reported side-effects. Whenever not abused it has a low toxicity.

Moderate use is considered to be compatible with breastfeeding, however because of the possibility of sedative effect in infants should better be avoided in cases of prematurity and in the neonatal period. Be aware of sedative effects in the infant.

Roots, rhizomes and stolons of the plant are used. It contains iridoids, valepotriates, steroids, essential oils, GABA and tannins.

Unproven beneficial effects in adults: sedative, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic.

Indication after Commission E of German Ministry of Health: insomnia, nervousness, anxiety.

Maximal daily dose: 9 g (2 g of dried extract)

Alternatives

We do not have alternatives for Valerian.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.

Synonyms

  • All-Heal
  • Garden heliotrope

Writings

  • Valeriana officinalis (Latin, botanical name)

References

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  2. Medline Plus Valeriana Medicinas, hierbas y suplementos 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Medline Plus Valerian Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Information 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Bunchorntavakul C, Reddy KR. Review article: herbal and dietary supplement hepatotoxicity. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  7. The Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria Australia. Herbal and Traditional Medicines in Breasfeeding. Fact Sheet. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  12. COMMITTEE ON HERBAL MEDICINAL PRODUCTS Valerian Root EMEA 2010 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. COMITÉ DE MEDICAMENTOS A BASE DE PLANTAS Valeriana EMEA 2009 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Holst L, Nordeng H, Haavik S. Use of herbal drugs during early pregnancy in relation to maternal characteristics and pregnancy outcome. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008Abstract
  15. Taibi DM, Landis CA, Petry H, Vitiello MV. A systematic review of valerian as a sleep aid: safe but not effective. Sleep Med Rev. 2007Abstract
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  18. [No authors listed] Management of insomnia: a place for traditional herbal remedies. Prescrire Int. 2005Abstract
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