The panacea, named for a Greek goddess of healing, is a mythical substance able to cure any illness or poison and even prolong one's life. This basic form of wish-fulfillment, a medicine that instantly fixes everything, is an [[OlderThanFeudalism old idea]] and takes many forms in various mythologies and subsequent fiction.

The strength of its effect varies. A weak panacea will work on natural diseases but might be useless against certain ailments, especially if they are of a magical or evil nature. It might elongate one's lifespan, but must be taken regularly to do so and it may not work forever. A strong panacea, on the other hand, is proof against anything you can think of and might well [[ImmortalityInducer bestow endless life]] with one sip, making its user TheAgeless.

It takes many forms as well. Classically it's a [[HealingPotion liquid]], but common substances also include mystical [[FantasticFruitsAndVegetables fruits]], [[HealingHerb herbs]], flowers, or [[EyeOfNewt the body part]] of some mythical creature. It might even be some kind of jewel.

This is not the same as a HealingPotion, though there is a lot of overlap, especially since both are most often liquids. The distinction is that the HealingPotion is geared towards fixing physical injuries rather than invisible and silent ailments. Nevertheless, many cases of one will work as the other, though this is not always so.

A SisterTrope to HealingPotion (restoring a LifeMeter), ManaPotion (restoring a ManaMeter).

Compare HealingSpring, ImmortalityInducer, PhilosophersStone, SpiceRackPanacea (an advertising trope).
!! Examples:


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The Grand Panacea from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}''. Its perfect form also [[ImmortalityInducer grants immunity to aging]].
* Chopper's dream in ''Manga/OnePiece'' is to become a living Panacea, a doctor capable of curing any illness.
* Invoked in ''Manga/{{Jin}}'', when the pre-Meiji era doctors at Medical Institue think that penicillin is a panacea. As we know today, it's not.
* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', Antonio Trussardi's stand Pearl Jam turns any food he makes into this. Eating his food makes you heal in some unfortunate ways, like [[BodyHorror throwing up your intestines]]. One drawback is that Perl Jam isn't a "cure-all", it takes a specific recipe to cure one specific malady.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Subverted in the first ''ComicBook/SquadronSupreme'' miniseries. ScienceHero Tom Thumb knows that a "panacea potion" exists in the future one of the team's foes comes from, so when a person important to him gets a fatal illness, he goes there to obtain it. Turns out that in the future, people are so healthy that they only need penicillin and a few vitamin supplements to beat any illness...
* ComicBook/{{Batman}} villain Ra's al Ghu uses a pool of liquid called the Lazarus Pit to prolong his lifespan and reverse aging. He's over 600 years old because of this, but the effects no longer last as long as they once did and Ra's is afraid the pits will soon stop working on him altogether.
* In ''ComicBook/CreatureTech'', the staff at RTI realize they're dealing with the ''real'' ShroudOfTurin when they realize the blood on the shroud can heal any wound and raise the dead.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* Rapunzel's hair in ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'', as well as the flower that she got her magic from.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action]]

* The father in ''Film/MyBigFatGreekWedding'' pulls out Windex anytime someone has an ailment, and in the film, it seems to cure everything from poison ivy to pimples.
* ''Film/{{Ravenous}}'' portrays the {{Wendigo}} myth as being true, and eating the flesh of another human grants a wide range of benefits, including a HealingFactor which allows someone to recover from gunshots, stab wounds, or [[{{Squick}} messily broken bones]] without so much as a scar. Diseases don't fare any better, as the film's BigBad was on death's door due to tuberculosis before he first turned to cannibalism, and within months he was fully cured and hasn't ever been sick since. Too bad [[CannibalismSuperpower all of this]] comes with the side effect of an unstoppable HorrorHunger.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Literature/TheRadix: The eponymous MacGuffin is an ancient plant that, if cooked properly, can heal any illness and even raise the dead. Supposedly, it belonged to Jesus himself. [[TreasureChestCavity Stored in a mummy's chest]] for ages, it made its dead tissues regenerate and bleed.
* In the first ([[AnachronicOrder plotwise]]) book in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia: Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', the apples of a particular [[WorldTree tree]] in a special garden have the power to cure disease. The scenario was written to reference [[Literature/TheBible the garden of Eden]], and the fruit enfolded a SecretTestOfCharacter: after taking one, Diggory is told that had he eaten it himself, or stolen it for his terminally sick mother, he'd have ultimately regretted it; it doesn't just cure disease, it makes one ''[[ImmortalityHurts unable to die even if one wants to]]'' - they have given up any possibility of Heaven in favor of unending life on Earth. The White Witch did exactly that, and it took Aslan's personal touch to end her. But because he resisted temptation, he is given an apple from the tree which grew from the one he retrieved, which fully restores his mother and permits her to die peacefully decades later.
* The Athelas weed, aka Kingsfoil, in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' has unspecified medicinal properties; it may not be good for everything, but it is able to cure several ailments, most notably the Black Breath, a curse brought on by contact with the corruption of Sauron. The process of preparing the remedy suggests that magic is involved. The same plant is used in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''.
* In the ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'', Garion makes one of these ''by accident''. When asked to make a [[FillItWithFlowers rosebush bloom]] with sorcery for his cousin, he refuses because it'd hurt the plant but compromises by creating a new flower from some twigs. This seems to be the end of the matter until well into the ''Malloreon'', when it turns out to be the "sovereign specific", capable of curing any poison, even one previously believed to have no antidote and resist magic curing. Its further medicinal properties are explored by Polgara but never specified on the page.
* Similarly, in ''Literature/TheElenium'' by the same author, TheHighQueen has been administered a poison believed to have no remedy, and her champion must find an object of power to cure her. As it happens, none will suffice but the Bhelliom, a CosmicKeystone of practically unlimited power. Although the story initially serves up the Bhelliom as a cure to this specific predicament, it quickly becomes a greater MacGuffin by dint of the desire of the BigBad to possess it by any means.
* ''Franchise/HarryPotter''
** A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat, and it can resolve most, though not all, poisons. Despite the seeming mundanity of the origin, bezoars seem to be quite rare, as they are mentioned to be expensive, and the school's potion ingredients store contains only a few.
** As well, phoenix tears, in addition to mending flesh, are strong enough to be the only cure for basilisk venom.
** Drinking unicorn blood can sustain one's life no matter how serious the affliction, but the drinker is {{curse}}d thereafter because of how evil it is to hurt a unicorn.
** Mandrakes can be used to brew a potion that will dispel any curse, and even cured an affliction that [[RightForTheWrongReasons merely looked like a curse]]. However, not just any mandrake, only a specific, extra deadly, [[FantasticFruitsAndVegetables stubborn]] variety will do.
** The Hogwarts hospital wing also has a drug that will clear up a wide variety of common illnesses, at the cost of causing smoke and steam to continually come out from the patient's orifices.
* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' the Caste of Physicians have created a pretty good panacea in the "Stabilization Serums," a series of shots which effectively make you immortal and stop aging. You can still die due to injuries of course, and it doesn't work 100% of the time; more like 98%. In book 27 there's a newer version which de-ages you 10 years per treatment. And the Priest-Kings -- the InsectoidAliens PowersThatBe of Gor -- have perfected them even more: Misk the Priest-King is over 6,000,000 years old. The physicians have also cured almost all diseases except "the Holy Disease" which is believed to be a punishment by the Priest-Kings.
* Lansip fruits in ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' can cure just about anything, and can even reverse aging. However, they're extremely hard to come by, as lansip only grows on an island that is protected by strong storms - ships can only get through about once every hundred years.
* ''Literature/CodexAlera'' has the mushroom called the Blessing of Night, which grows in only one place and can heal injuries, poisoning and [[spoiler:also infertility]].
* ''Literature/KateDaniels'' has panacea be a miracle drug that helps shapeshifters to not go full loup. It's incredibly hard to get a hold of. [[spoiler:Until Kate rescues a guy who knows how to make it and brings him home with her, anyway.]]
* In ''Literature/TheAndromedaStrain'', when a rubber seal fails and one of the main characters is exposed to the virus, he volunteers to take Kalocin, a top-secret antibiotic that destroys all unicellular life -- bacteria, fungi, viruses, you name it -- and even causes remission in cancer. One of the other scientists absolutely refuses to allow it. An expository paragraph then explains that when tested on humans, the drug wiped out all the symbiotic microorganisms living inside and on them; when the doses stopped, harmful microbes moved into the now-empty biological niches and killed all the subjects in various grotesque ways within six hours.
* Among its many other functions, the titular energy of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' can heal just about anything, including cuts, broken bones, bad eyes, missing limbs, damaged souls, and, under the exact right circumstances, ''death itself''. It is as yet unclear whether it will stop aging.
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' has a character named Panacea who is capable of healing any injury or disease. Just make sure not to get on her bad side - she's capable of [[LethalHarmlessPowers healing such "ailments"]] as [[BewareTheNiceOnes non-obesity, virility, lack of allergic reaction to air...]] [[spoiler: Just ask Glory Girl.]]


[[folder: Mythology and Religion ]]

* Some versions of the Holy Grail myth had it that the Grail could cure anything, grant immortality, etc. This idea was relished by treasure-seekers for whom a relic of unrivaled holiness just wasn't good enough. The same kind of powers have been attributed to any number of other Christian relics.
* In "Literature/GodfatherDeath", Death shows his godson a magic herb that can cure all diseases so long as the sufferer is not destined to die. The godson becomes a physician who heals all his patients with the magic herb, except those who Death claims for himself.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the PhilosophersStone item, which can be broken open and used to make a potion which can heal anything up to and including death.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' also has this item. In addition the Alchemist class can (at high levels, and if they take the relevant skill) make one.
** The 3rd Edition supplement ''Creature Collection'': The ewe of the Amalthean Ram gives milk that neutralizes non-magical poisons and diseases in anyone who drinks it.
** There is also Keoghtum's Ointment which can cure various things.
* Warhammer 40,000's background lore features an STC, Standard Template Construct, known as the Panacea which would have led to medical breakthroughs that would save billions of Imperial citizens across the galaxy... if the Dark Eldar Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue hadn't stolen it because Asdrubael Vect dared Lady Aurelia Malys to do it.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* '''General''': The panacea is one of the StandardRPGItems, and comes in a few flavours. The weakest and most common is a standard "antidote" item that cures UniversalPoison. The rarest is a "cure" item that works against a specific "disease" condition. "Panacea" is commonly used as the name of an item that removes ''all'' StandardStatusEffects.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' Yuri, Karol, and Estelle try to use a panacea bottle to heal the big cherry blossom tree in Halure and, from then on, it becomes a regular item that cures both physical and magical ailments.
* Panacea is a summonable item in ''VideoGame/{{Scribblenauts}}'' ([[DevelopersForesight along with everything else]]). In the sequel it heals any sick or diseased creature, and renders an already healthy one invincible.
* The goal of one subplot in ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'' is to make a perfect medicine in order to cure a terminally ill girl.
* In ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', you retrieve a "cure-all" pill from the abandoned hospital in the labyrinth. The full curative abilities of this medicine are unknown, but it heals Curly Brace (who is a ''[[RidiculouslyHumanRobots robot]]'') from unspecified debilitating injuries.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has disease-curing potions that are easy to make or buy, raw ingredients such as hawk feathers and charred rat skin that cure diseases on their own, and if that's too much bother, praying at a local shrine will have the same effect, plus a deity-specific blessing. Curing vampirism and lycanthropy is a different story, however.
* ''[[{{VideoGame/Bloodborne}} Bloodborne]]'' is themed around disease and blood, set in a MysticalPlague infested city that uses BloodMagic. The player character has some sort of disease, and came to [[CrapsackWorld Yharnam]] seeking a substance called "Paleblood" that can cure any ailment.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Wiki/SCPFoundation has [[ SCP-500,]] pills that cure any disease, but there's just about fifty of them and they're impossible to replicate perfectly (though knockoffs ''can'' work if you're lucky).
** Later, [[ SCP-427: the Lovecraftian Locket]] was developed that has eclipsed it in use. It has its own problems like overexposure, though.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/{{Solstoria}}'' has a character who is searching for a panacea for her mom.