Fumigation was a traditional way to treat sickness such as colds, flu, tuberculosis, fever etc throughout Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales and many other countries.

Traditionally it would have been Juniper used but here in the UK, Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) was used too.

This would have started by lighting a Need-Fire (in most cases), which was traditionally done as a magical aspect of protecting the home from sickness and malevolent magics. Mainly seen throughout Scottish Practices, some of England and occasionally in Ireland (sweat houses would have been employed for this).

A Need-Fire is started by friction that combines rituals, prayers, charms, song, at every step.

But it was also employed to protect cattle + live stock for the same reason.

Generally Juniper was used, Gorse + Rowan too but also Mugwort.

Mugwort is one of the Anglo-Saxon 9 herbs charm (known in old English as Nigon Wyrta Galdor) + is mentioned in the Lacnunga (translates from old English to now as ‘remedies’). In the 9 Herbs Charm poem, Mugwort is mentioned:

Remember, Mugwort, what you made known,

What you arranged at the Great proclamation.

You were called Una, the oldest of herbs,

you have power against three and against thirty,

you have power against poison and against infection,

you have power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.

These 9 herbs were believed to protect people and cure the sick, although it’s named herbs, all mentioned are plants. The Lacnunga is said to be dated around the 10th century by the British Museum and hails from Germanic origins, hense Anglo Saxon.

Getting back to fumigation, apart from sickness and protection, fumigation methods were used for blessing new homes too.

Although modern day, not sure fumigating a home with mugwort would be healthy, considering the botany uses of the plant, might get a great night’s sleep with some vivid dreams!

Mugwort is a staple flora within folkloric + traditional witchcraft traditions here in the UK. She has many medicinal uses, as well as magical. One folk magic use is to hang a bunch of mugwort within your home to bring protection in general but protection from other witches.