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The panacea /pænəˈsə/, named after the Greek goddess of universal remedy Panacea, is any supposed remedy that is claimed to cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely. It was in the past sought by alchemists as a connection to the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone, a mythical substance which would enable the transmutation of common metals into gold.

The Cahuilla people of the Colorado Desert region of California used the red sap of the elephant tree (Bursera microphylla) as a panacea.[1]

The Latin genus name of ginseng is Panax, (or "panacea") reflecting Linnean understanding that ginseng was widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure-all.[citation needed]

A panacea (or panaceum) is also a literary term to represent any solution to solve all problems related to a particular issue. The term panacea is also used in a negative way to describe the overuse of any one solution to solve many different problems especially in medicine.[2]

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  1. ^ Bean, Lowell John and Katherine Siva Saubel, 1972, Temalpakh (From the Earth); Cahuilla Indian Knowledge and Usage of Plants, Banning, CA. Malki Museum Press, page 48. http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/filtered/?string=Panacea&tribe=24&use_category=1.
  2. ^ "HONEY, MUD, MAGGOTS AND OTHER MEDICAL MARVELS". msu.edu.

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