• Goddess of universal remedy
Panacea (center) administering medicine to a baby. Image by the Veronese physician, J. Gazola, as part of a larger woodcut, 1716.
AbodeMount Olympus
Personal information
ParentsAsclepius and Epione
SiblingsAceso, Aegle, Aratus, Hygieia, Iaso, Machaon, Podalirius, Telesphoros

In Greek mythology, Panacea (Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia), a goddess of universal remedy, was the daughter of Asclepius and Epione. Panacea and her four sisters each performed a facet of Apollo's art:[1]

Panacea also had four brothers:

However, portrayals of the family were not always consistent; Panacea and her sisters each at times appear as Asclepius' wife instead.[2]

Panacea may have been an independent goddess before being absorbed into the Asclepius myth.[1]

Panacea traditionally had a poultice or potion with which she healed the sick.[citation needed] This brought about the concept of the panacea in medicine, a substance with the alleged property of curing all diseases. The term "panacea" has also come into figurative use as meaning "something used to solve all problems".[3]

The opening of the Hippocratic Oath mentions Panacea :[4]

Ὄμνυμι Ἀπόλλωνα ἰητρὸν καὶ Ἀσκληπιὸν καὶ Ὑγείαν καὶ Πανάκειαν καὶ θεοὺς πάντας τε καὶ πάσας ἵστορας ποιεύμενος ἐπιτελέα ποιήσειν κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ κρίσιν ἐμὴν ὅρκον τόνδε καὶ ξυγγραφὴν τήνδε.

I swear, calling upon Apollo the physician and Asclepius, Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses as witnesses, that I will fulfill this oath and this contract according to my ability and judgment.

A river in Thrace/Moesia took its name from the goddess, and is still known in modern Bulgaria as the river Zlatna Panega ("Golden Panega", from Greek panakeia).


  1. ^ a b Emma J. Edelstein, Ludwig Edelstein (1998). Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies. pp. 87–89. ISBN 0801857694.((cite book)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ C. A. Meier (2009). Healing Dream and Ritual: Ancient Incubation and Modern Psychotherapy. Einsiedeln: Daimon Verlag. p. 34. ISBN 3856307273. [...] Asclepius can hardly be thought of without his feminine companions, his wife and daughters. There were Epione (the gentle one), Hygeia, Panacea, Iaso, and others, each of whom was at times wife and at other times daughter.
  3. ^ "panacea". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  4. ^ Hippocrates of Cos. The Oath. ((cite book)): |work= ignored (help)