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).
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!! Examples:

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[[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, capable of curing any illness.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Subverted in the first ''SquadronSupreme'' miniseries. Science hero 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....
* In ''CreatureTech'', the staff at RTI realize they're dealing with the ''real'' Shroud of Turin when they realize the blood on the shroud can heal any wound and raise the dead.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Rapunzel's hair in ''{{Disney/Tangled}}'', and the flower that she got her magic from.
* The father in ''MyBigFatGreekWedding'' pulls out Windex anytime someone has an ailment and in the film it seems to cure everything from poison ivy to pimples.

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[[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 ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia: 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 for his own gain, he'd have been {{curse}}d, but because he wanted it for his terminally sick mother and waited for permission rather than stole it, he was able to bring it back home and cure her.
* 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 ''{{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 ''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.
* In ''Franchise/HarryPotter'', a bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and 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.
** Finally, 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.
* 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. A 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.

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[[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.

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[[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 relevent 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.

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[[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. There is also a "panacea" item in most games that fixes ''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}}'' ([[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything 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 ''{{r|idiculouslyHumanRobots}}obot'') from unspecified debilitating injuries.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has disease curing potions than are easy to make or buy, raw ingredinces 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.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Wiki/SCPFoundation has [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-500 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, [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-427 SCP-427: the Lovecraftian Locket]] was developed that has eclipsed it in use. It has its own problems like overexposure, though.
* ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' has a character named Panacea who is capable of healing any injury or disease.
** [[LethalHarmlessPowers Even]] [[BewareTheNiceOnes non-obesity, virility, lack of allergic reaction to air, and a host of other "ailments"]]. [[spoiler: Just ask Glory Girl.]]

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

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