- Title: Love is Panacea
- Also Known As: 治愈系恋人, Zhi Yu Xi Lian Ren, Ai Qing Yu Jian Da Er Wen , Zhi Yu Zhe
- Director: Mu Xiao Jie
- Cast: Luo Yun Xi, Zhang Ruo Nan
- Screenwriter: Shi Ruo Min
- Genres: Romance, Melodrama
- Number of Episodes: 34
- Date of Release: November 2, 2023
- Original Network: CCTV Youku
- Where to Watch: Youku, Viki
- Adapted from the web novel “Zhi Yu Zhe” by Ning Meng Xi Yan
Love is Panacea was a Chinese romance drama released in November 2023, with Luo Yun Xi and Zhang Ruo Nan as main casts. Today is such a sunny day, but I feel sad because one of my cats had just died. So, I wrote this review in tears. Because the story of Love is Panacea was so sweet, but my heart feels bitter right now 😭.
Thankfully this drama could give me some consolation. Luo Yun Xi was able to make me smile for a short moment. However, I did not want to ruin the mood. So, without further ado, let the review begin…
Love is Panacea Synopsis
Gu Yun Zheng is a genius associate professor of neurosurgery at Huaren Hospital. He is a young, rich, handsome man with a strict and aloof demeanor. His main focus and area of expertise is glioma or brain tumors.
For almost two years, Gu Yun Zheng has been on a medical mission in Lacaya, a small country in Africa. He has two missions, the first goal was to save more lives in the challenging local medical environment, and the second was to train local doctors to provide better treatment for their patients.
Su Wei An is a bright medical student at Huaren Medical School. After her father passed away, she discovered that she had inherited a gene for Huntington’s Disease, a rare and incurable genetic illness. Her world crumbled and she lost all her hopes to hold a scalpel. She quit school and forsaken her dream.
Su Wei An then left to travel the world. She was living on a day-to-day basis, not wanting to stay in one place for too long, and working part-time jobs to make ends meet.
The two had a fateful encounter in Lacaya where they began on a difficult start at the airport. Later they met again in the hospital where Gu Yun Zheng was serving his medical aid. At that moment, Su Wei An had no place to stay after her house was destroyed by General Kouyote’s guards.
With no place to stay, she applied for a job as a translator at the hospital only because they provide accommodation for hospital employees. Gu Yun Zheng initially disliked her attitude, but Su Wei An had strong medical knowledge and provided a good translation service. With no other options, Gu Yun Zheng had to hire her as the translator.
Gu Yun Zheng and Su Wei An worked harmoniously on the ward and in the operating room. However, when they were outside, they always quarreled about various matters. Their arguments led to them getting to know each other better and developing deeper feelings.
Su Wei An was happy to finally find love. However, the news that her aunt was suffering from the same disease woke her up. Her state of mind returned to the way it used to be. She lost her hope again and returned to China without saying goodbye to Gu Yun Zheng.
When she left without explanation, Gu Yun Zheng’s heart broke, but he never gave up. He kept chasing Su Wei An and learned that the reason why she insisted on rejecting him was because of the disease. Su Wei An tried her best to avoid him. But facing his unwavering devotion, Su Wei An finally decided to embrace her feelings and they got together as a couple. Su Wei An joined Gu Yun Zhen’s team, and they work together to find a path for their future.
Love is Panacea Review
Panacea is a remedy for all diseases. And so, the title of this drama describes love as a remedy for all ailments and difficulties.
Love is Panacea is a bitter-sweet romantic melodrama that will not make you bawl your eyes out. It had romantic vibes, and yet I felt like I was watching a scientific drama. The main characters come from a medical background, so the setting is mostly in the hospital and laboratory.
Their conversation frequently mentioned medical terms like haemorrhage, aneurysm, chorea, and others. It was totally okay if you did not understand all of them, you only needed to be familiar with some of them. I researched some for you, dear readers who wanted to watch Love is Panacea.
Our female lead, Su Wei Yan, has Huntington’s Disease (HD). According to the website nhs.gov, Huntington’s Disease is a neurological condition that stops parts of the brain from working properly. It’s a hereditary condition that can be passed from parent to child.
Over time, the sickness gets worse and usually becomes fatal after a period of time. Various symptoms include depression, stumbling and clumsiness, involuntary jerking or fidgeting of the limbs and body, and difficulties in moving. Currently, there is no cure for this illness.
Chorea is one of the terminologies that is often mentioned in the conversations between the characters. Chorea is a movement disorder that can occur in various diseases and conditions (my.clevelandclinic.org). Meanwhile, Gu Yun Cheng’s main research topic is about glioma. According to www.hopkinsmedicine.org, glioma is a common type of tumour that originates in the brain.
Okay, enough with the terminologies… 😉
Love is Panacea is a drama adaptation of the web novel Healer (Zhi Yu Zhe) by author Ning Meng Xi Yan. I haven’t read the whole novel, but I skimmed through some chapters and found some differences. However, the show’s plot generally follows the plot of the novel.
This drama reminded me of The Forbidden Flower drama starring Jerry Yan and Xu Ruo Han, and surprisingly, Nirvana in Fire starring Hu Ge and Wang Kai. These dramas feature the main characters who have a terminal illness.
Despite their struggles, they persevere in their goals, whether to find happiness or seek revenge. Su Wei An is no exception. She was devastated when she found out about her illness. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to wait for something bad to happen to yourself.
But even though the genetic diagnosis felt like a death sentence, Su Wei An did not fall into depression for a long time. She started planning her future. She purchased multiple life insurance policies and even made plans for euthanasia.
Su Wei An ensured she was prepared for the worst. However, on the other hand, she also wanted to keep living and hold onto a small glimmer of hope. Su Wei An read numerous research journals on HD and was willing to participate in research studies as a test subject. She believed that having a slight hope was better than having none at all. Even if the research didn’t succeed, she wanted to be the one who paved the way for others.
The drama was entertaining in the beginning when Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng were just getting to know each other. I very much enjoyed the episodes when they spent time in Lacaya. It wasn’t just about romance, but also adventure, with nice scenery in the early episodes.
The characters’ dynamics were interesting. Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng would argue endlessly, seeming to hate each other, but secretly cared and were considerate towards each other. Not to mention the silly interaction between Jiang Mu Ying and Fang Ming Fan. ((Sigh))… Love, is always sweet in the beginning.🥰
The early episodes caught me by surprise. Dear readers, this is a drama with romance in the beginning. We don’t have to wait until the 27th episode for the first kiss because it happens in the 6th episode. Though there aren’t many kisses, each one is described as sweet rather than passionate.
I felt like I was watching a Hollywood teen movie instead of an adult drama. I wonder if China has a different policy about showing kisses on screen. Why are there many Chinese dramas with kissing scenes where the lips are closed and the expressions rigid?🤨
Let’s forget about the kissing scenes and just stick to the story. After Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng returned to China, the romance was on hold for a while because the plot started to focus on HD research, Su Yuan, and the conflict within Gu Yun Zheng’s family members. Their love story continues after they become a couple.
In my opinion, the star of Love is Panacea is Luo Yun Xi. I enjoy seeing Luo Yun Xi as a composed yet laid back doctor. He usually appears very formal and strict in the hospital. Nonetheless, when Gu Yun Zheng was with Su Wei An, Luo Yun Xi managed to show us his other side as a silly and love-struck young man.
Luo Yun Xi and Zhang Ruo Nan shared a great on-screen chemistry, and their body language and small gestures showed their affection for each other naturally.
Luo Yun Xi’s expression throughout the drama was subtle. The feelings in that scene weren’t very intense, but I could feel the happiness, sadness, anger, and everything that Gu Yun Zheng felt in that scene. He conveyed everything through his eyes. His eyes had a hypnotic effect on me all through the episode. I know some of you think I’m exaggerating, but if you watch this drama more than once, you’ll see what I mean.😉
Zhang Ruo Nan is adorable, as usual. Nevertheless, her facial expressions were not particularly expressive in this drama. Still, she did a good job as Su Wei An and I prefer her role in this drama compared to her previous drama, A Date in The Future.
My favorite role in this drama is Su Wei An’s mother, Zhao Mei Lan. I enjoy seeing Cui Yi portray a lovable middle-aged woman, like in Meet Yourself and A Romance of the Little Forest.
Overall, Love is Panacea is a good romance drama for those who do not like tear-jerking dramas. The pace of the plot was slow at first but quickened towards the end. Personally, I thought that the ending of the drama was a bit rushed. However, this bittersweet ending could be a logical conclusion for all characters. You can read the full ending that I also wrote, in Love is Panacea ending explained post. I truly hope that there will be a cure for HD patients like in this drama.
“Sometimes, love can create a miracle”, said Gu Yun Zheng to the absent minded Su Wei An.
“What if all the efforts were in vain? Are they worth it?”, asked Su Wei An.
“Everything is worth it, when you’re with your love ones.”, Gu Yun Zheng reassured her.
The story of Gu Yun Zheng and Su Wei An’s relationship began when they first met in Lacaya, a fictional small country somewhere in Africa. The people speak French as their native language. Despite residing in Lacaya for 478 days, Gu Yun Zheng was still unable to speak French.
In the meantime, Su Wei An had also been residing in Lacaya for a while and was running a small business selling Chinese liquor to the locals. Her most significant client was a powerful government official named General Kouyote. He was the reason why Su Wei An had to apply for a job as a translator at the Hospital De L’Amitie.
The liquor that was sent to the General’s mansion was fake, and it caused the General’s anger. Su Wei An’s rental house was destroyed by the General’s guards, and she was banned from all hotels in Lacaya. Thus, Su Wei An had to accept Jiang Mu Ying’s suggestion to apply for a translator job at the hospital. Solely because the hospital provided accommodation for the employee.
Jiang Mu Ying has been Su Wei An’s closest friend since they were teenagers. She was the first to discover that Su Wei An never studied in Paris. Jiang Mu Ying followed her to Lacaya, which shocked Su Wei An with her arrival. Although Jiang Mu Ying doesn’t have much influence on Su Wei An, her appearance on screen was quite entertaining, and she did a lot to bring Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng together.
I was disappointed when I learned that Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng had already met each other back in China. Gu Yun Zheng was her teacher and he was impressed by Su Wei An because she missed an exam because she saved a person on the street. This cliché has been used so often in many dramas that I started to get bored of it. 😕
To understand the estranged brotherhood of Gu Yun Zheng and Du Yun Cheng, we must start with the complicated relationship in their family. The Du family consists of grandfather Du Ruan Ze, his son Du Yong Song, his late daughter-in-law Gu Xing Chen, his current daughter-in-law Cui Jie, and his grandchildren.
Du Yun Cheng is the oldest while Gu Yun Zheng is the youngest. Du Ruan Ze founded Jiehui, a pharmaceutical company, while Du Yong Song was the president of Huaren Hospital.
Long before Gu Xing Chen married Du Yong Song, he was already in a relationship with Cui Jie. However, Du Yong Song knew that even though he liked Cui Jie, her family background was not compatible with the Dus. So he broke up with her and married Gu Xing Chen who came from a prominent and wealthy family.
Unbeknownst to Du Yong Song, Cui Jie was already pregnant. She decided to keep the baby as a bargaining chip to enter the Du family. The baby is Du Yun Cheng.
Gu Yun Zheng was born later on. Afterward, Gu Xing Chen went to Lacaya to work as a volunteer on the Nero Bridge project. While in Lacaya, Gu Xing Chen and Du Yong Song ended their marriage. Du Yong Song told Gu Yun Zheng that his mother did not want him anymore.
Meanwhile, Gu Xing Chen refused to go back to China and decided to remain in Lacaya until she died in a construction accident. Gu Yun Zheng was only 8 years old when she died. Thus, after Gu Xing Chen’s death, Du Yong Song re-married to Cui Jie and took Du Yun Cheng into their home. Gu Yun Zheng didn’t get along well with Du Yun Cheng and Cui Jie, so he moved in with his grandfather, Du Ruan Ze.
A friend of Gu Xing Chen returned to China and brought Gu Xing Chen’s personal belongings and gave them to Gu Yun Zheng. He found a photograph of Du Yong Song, Cui Jie, and Du Yun Cheng among their belongings. Behind the photo was a writing, “We are the real family”.
When Gu Xing Chen died, the photo was found on her pocket. The photograph was sent by Cui Jie to Gu Xing Chen to force her to divorce Du Yong Song. At that time, Du Yun Cheng was about to enter elementary school, and Cui Jie needed a household registration. She racked her brain to find a way to enter the Du family and came up with the idea. Unfortunately, Gu Xing Chen lost her husband and her life because of the photograph.
The divorce and the death of Gu Xing Chen made Du Ruan Ze despise Cui Jie and Du Yun Cheng. However, Du Yong Song also disliked Du Yun Cheng. The father and son both valued Gu Yun Zheng more than Du Yun Cheng. However, Gu Yun Zheng had already developed a dislike toward Du Yong Song after he married Cui Ji. Gu Yun Zheng only regarded his grandfather as his only relative.
There were several key episodes in this drama that led to personality changes and character development. It also served as a story background that gave us, the viewers, an explanation about the characters.
The first was when Su Yuan had a sudden onset of HD. Su Wei aAn’s mother called to inform her. She also asked Su Wei An to come back to China. Su Yuan is an essential character in this drama. Through her, we have a glimpse of the future if Su Wei An suffered from the onset of HD. She became a turning point for Su Wei An’s character when she desperately tried to keep Su Yuan alive and well.
Su Yuan also became a proof of how crooked Du Yun Cheng’s personality was. He was obsessed with HDQ39 because he wanted to find a cure for Su Wei An. When the medicine was proven to be the reason for Su Yuan’s death, Du Yun Cheng did not see it as a failure.
For him, those HD patients were better off dying on the operating table than trying to survive the symptoms of HD. Du Yun Cheng did not care how many people could die in the trial, as long as they could contribute to finding a cure for Su Wei An.
There was also a second couple in Love is Panacea, they are Jiang Mu Ying and Fang Ming Fan. Their story was cute in the beginning. But later, after all of them returned to China, their role was significantly reduced, and their story felt like an add-on to the main story.😬
Gu Yun Zheng
Gu Yun Zheng (played by Luo Yun Xi) is a genius in the medical world. He is a glioma specialist who performed his first operation at a very young age and became a legend in Huaren’s neurosurgery department. He was six years older than Su Wei An, but he was already her teacher in Huaren Medical University.
Gu Yun Zheng’s personality was a bit cold and aloof. To others, he was arrogant. But for him personally, he just kept his serious and strict attitude at work. However, when he was with Su Wei An, he was considerate, affectionate, kind, funny, oh well… almost goofy. 😅
He was always good with words, which often left Su Wei An, who loved to argue, speechless. He loved horror movies, but was too afraid to watch them alone. In his daily life, Gu Yun Zheng did not have many close friends. The only one who was seen around him was Fang Ming Fan, a friend/assistant.
Gu Yun Zheng was born into a wealthy family. His father was the president of Huaren Hospital and his mother was a bridge architect. His parents were divorced. However, Gu Yun Zhen did not take his father’s surname, but his mother’s surname.
Su Wei An was the only woman he was attracted to. Not only because of her beautiful looks, but also because of her unique temperament. She was a mystery waiting to be unveiled in Gu Yun Zheng’s world. For Gu Yun Zheng, there’s only two people he holds dear in his heart. His grandfather and Su Wei An. His feelings for her were so deep that he was willing to go through thick and thin with her, even if the whole world was against him.
Su Wei An
Before she knew about HD, Su Wei An (played by Zhang Ruo Nan) was a happy, carefree, straightforward, and confident person. She lived life to the fullest. Aside from pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor, she joined a band as a drummer.
After she quit school, Su Wei An became a bitter, money-oriented, and stubborn person. But one thing has never changed, she has always been a persistent person. Be it her dream or her will to survive.
As an only child from a harmonious family, Su Wei An had a close relationship with her parents. The sudden death of her father shocked her. She then investigated to find out why her father suddenly lost control of the steering wheel.
Through the CCTV video, she could see that Mr. Su’s hand suddenly shook and he was unable to control it. As a medical student, Su Wei An could see that something had happened to her father’s body. She asked for a thorough examination of her father and found out that he suffered from HD attack while driving.
Knowing that the disease was genetically inherited, she tested herself and found that she had a gene that carried the same condition.
Su Wei An was devastated. She knew that she would probably have an onset when she was in her 30s or 40s, earlier than her father in his 50s. Su Wei An could not imagine herself not being able to hold a scalpel. So she gave up her dream and left.
However, even though she seemed to have the intention to end herself by collecting life insurance and a euthanasia brochure, Su Wei An did not really want to die, she just prepared for the worst. She read many scientific journals about HD and followed the news around the world about research on this disease.
Su Wei An still hoped that there would be a cure for HD before she got sick. Her thoughts about dying changed after she was stabbed by a knife while trying to protect Gu Yun Zheng. When she felt that her life was slipping away, Su Wei An realized that she really wanted to live.
Gu Yun Zheng was Su Wei An’s idol when she was a student. He once helped her in front of her professor who reprimanded her for coming late to the exam. Later, in the hospital, although she disliked Gu Yun Zheng’s arrogant attitude, she still respected him. Su Wei An did not realize that she had fallen in love with him until he kissed her at the New Year’s Eve party.
Du Yun Cheng
Du Yun Cheng (played by Wei Qian Xiang) was the step-brother of Gu Yun Zheng. They had different surnames because Gu Yun Zheng chose to use his mother’s surname. The relationship between the two brothers was estranged since they were children. Du Yun Cheng’s mother, Cui Ji, was the second wife of Du Yong Song. However, Du Yun Cheng was older than Gu Yun Zheng.
Since he was a child, Du Yun Cheng never felt loved by his father and grandfather. They always preferred Gu Yun Zheng to him. This situation made Du Yun Cheng lived under pressure. He wanted to defeat Gu Yun Zheng, but no matter what he did, his father and grandfather never recognized him.
So, he felt neglected and abandoned. And his mother only made things worse by insisting on Du Yun Cheng to butter up his grandfather.
Cui Ji was afraid that Du Run Ze would not consider Du Yun Cheng as one of the children of the Du family. She also held onto the idea of making Wen Ran her daughter-in-law, because in Cui Ji’s eyes, only Wen Ran was qualified to be with Du Yun Cheng. And because of Wen Ran’s famous background, she could elevate Du Yun Cheng’s position in the family.
Du Yun Cheng himself had been in love with Su Wei An for years. However, when he confessed, he was rejected. The feeling did not end there. Du Yun Cheng knew about Su Wei An’s illness and wanted to do something for her. He decided to give up his medical career and joined Jiehui, Grandfather Du’s pharmaceutical company. He took over the research of HD which is the HDQ39 project. Since then, he has devoted himself to the research.
Unfortunately, Du Yun Cheng was a person with a selfish mind. He will do anything to achieve his goals. He accepted Wen Ran as his girlfriend, even though he had no feelings for her, because her father, Professor Wen, had been studying HD for years and was the leader of HDQ39 project.
Du Yun Cheng’s other obsession besides Su Wei An was Gu Yun Zheng. Being under pressure and scorn for thirty years made him deeply hate Gu Yun Zheng. Du Yun Cheng only wanted to defeat him and prove to people around them, especially Du Ruan Ze and Du Yong Song, that he was better than Gu Yun Zheng.
Wen Ran (played by Qian Di Di) was a selfish and deceitful individual, driven by her ambition and pride. She was once Su Wei An’s closest friend when they were medical students, but Wen Ran secretly harbored jealousy towards Su Wei An because she was more talented than her and Du Yun Cheng only paid attention to Su Wei An. Although some people could see her real personality, Su Wei An was oblivious to Wen Ran’s lies.
Wen Ran and Su Wei An’s relationship fell apart when Su Wei An overheard Wen Ran talking with Professor He Xiao Guang. She sought him out to claim credit for their paper.
Wen Ran told Professor He Xiao Guang that she did most of the work for the research design as well as the result and discussion section on the paper. She claimed that she was always busy with her duties in the student union, so she had Su Wei An report their progress to Professor He Xiao Guang.
Wen Ran also told Professor He Xiao Guang that Su Wei An was selfish and had a bad temper. By slandering Su Wei An, Wen Ran intended to have her name listed as the first author.
The first author credit in a scientific research paper is given to those who do most of the work and write the manuscript. This credit also indicates that the person has provided the largest intellectual contribution.😌
Professor He Xiao Guang initially knew that Su Wei An always worked alone in the laboratory. But Wen Ran offered him a position on her father’s research team as a bribe.
Professor He Xiao Guang allowed Wen Ran to take the first author position in exchange for the bribe. The paper was later accepted at a prestigious journal and won an award. Su Wei An reported the paper to the sponsor, and they later revoked the award.
Su Wei An revealed this matter to the professors at Huaren Hospital when she and Wen Ran were competing for the position of research assistant in Gu Yun Zheng’s team. As a result of academic misconduct, Wen Ran and He Xiao Guang were investigated and subsequently dismissed from Huaren.
Wen Ran developed feelings for Du Yun Cheng while they were both medical students. After Su Wei An quit the school, she made a move and confessed to Du Yun Cheng. At that time, Du Yun Cheng had already calculated Professor Wen, so he accepted her. Even though Wen Ran had successfully become his girlfriend, she was still suspicious and jealous of Su Wei An’s position in Du Yun Cheng’s heart.
Love is Panacea is a sweet romantic drama that is packed with medical terms. If we disregard the medical circumstances in the story, the main plot was quite simple and clichéd. Nevertheless, Luo Yun Xi and Zhang Ruo Nan managed to make me enjoy this drama. I was pleased to see their interaction and intelligent conversations. Moreover, their chemistry was also very good.
If you are looking for a medical drama, go for this one. Its always a pleasure to see characters who are dedicated to their passion and goals. And if you are a romance junkie, go for this one as well. Su Wei An and Gu Yun Zheng’ relationship in beginning was pretty enjoyable and the fluff followed afterward, but you might want to skip the medical situation, which might be too complicated. 😎
This drama is perfect if you wish to watch it with your loved ones. Don’t forget to get your snacks and drinks ready. You won’t need tissues, but you might need to Google a few words to be able to understand the conversation, which I might say is cumbersome. So enjoy the show, dear readers! Dont forget to write us about your opinion on Love is Panacea. See you later!