It is hard to say how early human beings discovered that certain plants created aromatic smoke. We know that by 1825 BCE, in the Kahun Gynecological Papyrus, Egyptian physicians recommended “fumigating her (the patient) with incense and fresh oil, fumigating her womb with it, and fumigating her eyes”.
In the Middle East, fumigation was also a very important medical tool, especially in the treatment of cold and wet conditions. A 3,000 year old Sumerian prescription written on a clay tablet recommends vaginal fumigation with 11 plant residues, for fluids blocked in the womb. Another from the 7th century BCE suggests digging a hole in the ground, adding coals and resins, and having the female patient sit over it.