Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3) and around 17% sodium bicarbonate (also called baking soda, NaHCO3) along with small quantities of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate. Natron is white to colourless when pure, varying to gray or yellow with impurities. Natron deposits are sometimes found in saline lake beds which arose in arid environments. Throughout history natron has had many practical applications that continue today in the wide range of modern uses of its constituent mineral components.
In modern mineralogy the term natron has come to mean only the sodium carbonate decahydrate (hydrated soda ash) that makes up most of the historical salt.