Panacea

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This article is about the Greek goddess. For other uses, see Panacea (disambiguation).
Panacea (center) administering medicine to a baby (Picture of the Veronese physician J. Gazola as part of a larger woodcut, 1716)

In Greek mythology, Panacea (Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia) was a goddess of Universal remedy. She was the daughter of Asclepius and Epione. Panacea and her four sisters each performed a facet of Apollo's art: Panacea (the goddess of Universal remedy), Hygieia ("Hygiene" the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation ), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), and Aglæa/Ægle (the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, magnificence, and adornment).

Panacea also had four brothers—Podaleirus, one of the two kings of Tricca, who had a flair for diagnostics, and Machaon, the other king of Tricca, who was a master surgeon (these two took part in the Trojan War until Machaon was killed by Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons); Telesphoros, who devoted his life to serving Asclepius; and Aratus, her half-brother, who was a Greek hero and the patron/liberator of Sicyon.

Panacea was said to have a poultice or potion with which she healed the sick. This brought about the concept of the panacea in medicine, a substance meant to cure all diseases. The term is also used figuratively as something intended to completely solve a large, multi-faceted problem.

A river in Thrace/Moesia was named after the goddess, and is still known as the river Zlatna Panega (from Greek panakeia).