Patent Herbs are herbs that are formed into tablets. I now use a concentrated form that is made from herbal powder. They are formulated to combat the 'syndromes' recognised in Traditional Chinese Medicine. See TCM page. An example would be Xiao Yao Wan which is used to tonify Yin and Blood and to move Liver Qi. There are thousands of different Patent Herbal formulas, I use only those from reputable suppliers who I know don't use things such as endangered species in the tablets. If you go to a Chinese shop there is the chance the Patents will have endangered species or chemicals such as steroids in them so be aware. One example of this is the use of Seahorses in some remedies, they can be substituted for in the tablets but the Chinese shops use real Seahorses!
Patent Herbs are not like 'western' medicines, you often take 4 three times a day and they can take over a month to start working. They work at a deep level in our bodies and are often repairing the cause of our problems rather than masking the symptoms like a lot of 'western' medicines do.I use Patents sometimes to work away in the background whilst I address other problems with Acupuncture