''Although chemically unrelated to the tranquilizer Valium, Valerian has been nicknamed "the Valium of the nineteenth century." In fact, it is said that Valium was named for Valerian. Valerian is a safe and natural alternative to sedative drugs like Valium''
Capsule: Take as directed or one capsule three times daily.
Infusion: One cup before bedtime.
Tincture: One teaspoon three times daily.
Extract: One to two ml 30-45 minutes before bedtime.
Valerian has been a popular calming and sleep-promoting agent for over 1,000 years. Several different sources consider this safe for use by breastfeeding moms. Side effects occur particularly with long-term use and include headaches (rare), heart palpitations (rare) and insomnia (rare). Monitor your baby for drowsiness. One caution: apparently it has a very strong (unpleasant) smell, even in capsule form, and it seems possible that the smell/flavor might transfer to your milk. If this happens, your baby might not like the taste.
According to Hale, valerian root toxicity appears to be low, with only minor side effects reported. No data are available on the transfer of valerian root compounds into breastmilk, and no pediatric concerns have been reported. However, the use of sedatives in breastfeeding mothers is generally discouraged, due to a possible increased risk of SIDS.
Some components display cytotoxic and mutagenic activity in vitro. Although these effects have not been reproduced in vivo even at high doses (1350 mg/kg), valerian probably should not be used by pregnant women. Valerian should not be taken with other sedatives or before driving or in other situations when alertness is required.