I am a breastfeeding mother and i want to know if it is safe to use Valerian? Is Valerian safe for nursing mother and child? Does Valerian extracts into breast milk? Does Valerian has any long term or short term side effects on infants? Can Valerian influence milk supply or can Valerian decrease milk supply in lactating mothers?
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root contains mono- and sesquiterpenes, and iridoid triesters (valepotriates). Preparations are sometimes standardized on valerenic acid content. Valerian has no specific uses in nursing mothers, but is most commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disturbances, and occasionally for self-treatment of postpartum blues or depression. No data exist on the safety and efficacy of valerian in nursing mothers or infants. In general, valerian is well tolerated, with side effects such as dizziness, hangover or headache reported occasionally. Valerian is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for use in food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Valerian is often not recommended during lactation because of the theoretical concerns over its valepotriates and baldrinals which have been shown to be cytotoxic and mutagenic in vitro. Because there is no published experience with valerian during breastfeeding, an alternate therapy may be preferred, especially while nursing a newborn or preterm infant. Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information #about dietary supplements# is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.
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