from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mineral of hydrous sodium carbonate, Na2CO3·10H2O, often found crystallized with other salts. It can act as a dessicant and was used in mummification.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Native carbonate of sodium, or mineral alkali (Na2CO3.10H2O).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Min.) Native sodium carbonate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun mineralogy A crystalline mixture of hydrous sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, with the chemical formula Na2CO3·10H2O.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Spanish natrón, from Arabic naṭrūn, niter, from Greek nitron; see niter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French natron, from Arabic نطرون (naTruun), from Ancient Greek νίτρον (nitron, "nitre").


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  • The dealers in tobacco also sell natron, which is brought from

    Travels in Nubia

  • (It is true that though copper can be melted the agent in its case is not water, but some of the bodies that can be melted by water too such as natron and salt cannot be softened in water: for nothing is said to be so affected unless the water soaks into it and makes it softer.)


  • As, however, it appears in (Jeremiah 2: 22) in contradistinction to nether, which undoubtedly means "natron" or mineral alkali, it is fair to infer that borith refers to vegetable alkali, or some kind of potash, which forms one of the usual ingredients in our soap.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • When one of them died, his son, or his nearest relative, carefully washed the corpse in water impregnated with an astringent or aromatic substance, such as natron or some solution of fragrant gums, and then fumigated it with burning herbs and perfumes which were destined to overpower, at least temporarily, the odour of death. [

    History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12)

  • To mummify a body, they would remove all the organs (all those wet squishy things go bad quickly and smell bad) and cover the body with a salty substance called natron that would dry it out.

    Mummy Skeleton | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • On either side of the altar are oven-like compartments, niches where sacred crocodiles, mummified with the use of natron, were placed on biers.

    Richard Bangs: Quest for the Lord of the Nile, Part III

  • On either side of the altar are oven-like compartments, niches where sacred crocodiles, mummified with the use of natron, were placed on biers.

    Richard Bangs: Quest for the Lord of the Nile, Part III

  •     When the body is fully dehydrated, wrap natron-soaked gauze or bandages around it.

    Wrapping Kevin

  • The natron will dehydrate the body and allow the blood to drain from it.

    Wrapping Kevin

  •     Liberally cover the body in natron (a natural salt, composed of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate with traces of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate).

    Wrapping Kevin


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  • "But what a mistake to have assembled limbs from fresh corpses to marinate in formaldehyde; you should have let them all macerate in a natron solution."

    Talismano by Abdelwaheb Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, p 92 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback

    September 25, 2011

  • Bugger! Bring me more fresh corpses!

    September 26, 2011

  • "Historical natron was harvested directly as a salt mixture from dry lake beds in Ancient Egypt and has been used for thousands of years as a cleaning product for both the home and body. Blended with oil, it was an early form of soap. It softens water while removing oil and grease. Undiluted, natron was a cleanser for the teeth and an early mouthwash. The mineral was mixed into early antiseptics for wounds and minor cuts. Natron can be used to dry and preserve fish and meat. It was also an ancient household insecticide, was used for making leather and as a bleach for clothing.

    The mineral was used in Egyptian mummification because it absorbs water and behaves as a drying agent. Moreover, when exposed to moisture the carbonate in natron increases pH (raises alkalinity), which creates a hostile environment for bacteria. In some cultures natron was thought to enhance spiritual safety for both the living and the dead. Natron was added to castor oil to make a smokeless fuel, which allowed Egyptian artisans to paint elaborate artworks inside ancient tombs without staining them with soot.

    Natron is an ingredient for making a distinct color called Egyptian blue, and also as the flux in Egyptian faience. It was used along with sand and lime in ceramic and glass-making by the Romans and others at least until 640 AD. The mineral was also employed as a flux to solder precious metals together."

    -- Wikipedia (

    April 24, 2013