- "Can you get rid of hangovers by dunking yourself in a bacta tank?"
- ―Thane Kyrell
Bacta was a thick, gelatinous substance with seemingly magical healing properties. It helped the body regrow tissue, including nerves, skin, and muscles. Injured individuals could be immersed in bacta-filled tanks in order to recover from their wounds more quickly.
Promoting rapid regeneration of organic compounds, bacta could be used in a variety of both critical and noncritical medical situations. Described as being warm to the touch, the bacta liquid could aid in the healing of concussions, internal organs, and broken ribs. Furthermore, it could be placed in small dishes to help regrow fingernails, mend cuts, burns, and other injuries. Due to its 'one-size fits all' use in medical applications, it was a highly prized and commonly used medical treatment for most if not all injuries.
Despite its highly regenerative properties, some individuals harbored negative feelings towards the substance, finding its viscosity somewhere between 'liquid' and 'slime.' Additionally, most bacta patients felt as if they were being 'swallowed alive' upon being submerged in the substance. As such, most doctors injected sedatives first, while subsequent waves of relaxation would slowly overcome the patient, sending them into a meditative state. While most retained consciousness, the combination of drugs and bacta commonly lead one to drift into 'another world,' with some comparing it to being in a mother's womb. Upon emerging from the liquid, many would describe feeling worse for a few days due to the loss of serenity provided by the substance. However, some would find the opposite to be true, describing their bodies as feeling 'light' and free from pain.
In order to allow a patient to retain normal functions, a breathing apparatus was provided to the individual along with specialized sensors that allowed the doctor to monitor their patients' bodily functions while submerged.
When the Alliance to Restore the Republic was stationed on the frozen planet of Hoth, Luke Skywalker had to be put in a bacta tank after being attacked and maimed by a wampa ice creature. During this time, grenade-like bacta bombs were used to heal soldiers on the front line.