Rope incense with brass hook and burner

Rope Incense: What It is and Why You Need It

How to create a relaxing environment with rope incense

Have you been seeing rope incense on social media? It may feel like a new type of incense, but rope incense has actually been around for centuries. Rope incense is a traditional form of incense from Nepal and Tibet often used for creating an atmosphere of relaxation and calm, so it's especially great for meditation and healing rituals.

Made by twisting incense powder—a mixture of herbs and spices—and essential oils into ropes of paper with a loop on one end, rope incense releases scent when burned. The strength of the fragrance depends on the oils used, and the length of the burn depends on the length of the rope and how it is burned.

History of Rope Incense

Incense has been used by people and monks for thousands of years. Believed to have originated in India, and then widely spread to Tibet and Nepal, rope incense—like all forms of incense—has been widely used in monasteries for spiritual and religious rituals, as well as for healing and medical purposes.

Within Buddhism, it is believed that the Buddha himself created the very first piece of incense! It is also believed that the smoke produced when the incense is burned helps to cleanse our spirit and enhance the flow of positive energy in our surroundings. 

Today, rope incense and incense are still widely used for prayer and religious rituals. What's more, the Nepalese believe that by making and twisting the rope incense yourself for religious worship, you will truly generate more blessings as its fragrance spreads throughout your environment.  

Rope Incense: How to Burn

There are two common ways to burn rope incense.

Hang Rope Incense

All rope incense is made with a loop on one end, which allows you to hang it on a hook that's designed for rope incense burning (alternatively, you can bend wire yourself and make a hook). You can hang the incense over any fire-proof surface, or one specially made for this purpose, like a ceramic burner plate

After you've placed the looped end onto the hook, carefully light the pointed end with a match or lighter. Allow the rope to catch on fire, then gently blow it out to leave the rope smoldering. Hanging to burn generally results in the cleanest burn.

Rope incense hanging on hook with ceramic burner plate 

Lay Rope Incense on Bed of Ash

Another way to burn rope incense is to lay it flat on a bed of ash in a fire-proof vessel. As with hanging, to burn the rope incense just light the pointed end with a match or lighter. Always allow it to catch fire before blowing out the smoke and letting it smolder.

This method does not always result in a clean burn, as it can sometimes leave some resin behind (which you can wash away with soap and water).

REMINDER: Always ensure you practice fire safety—burn rope incense safely by  using a fire-proof rope incense burner or plate. Remember to never leave a burning rope incense unattended.

Benefits of Rope Incense

There are many benefits of burning rope incense. This ancient practice is believed to:

  • Invite feelings of calm and peace
  • Relieve tension
  • Improve focus and clarity
  • Enhance creativity and concentration

Because burning rope incense helps foster an environment of tranquility and improves focus, it is a great tool to use during meditation. 


Evil Eye rope incense and burner plate


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