Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP) is widely used for the treatment of diseases such as hyperlipidemia, fatty liver and obesity in China, and atorvastatin is broadly used as an anti-hyperlipidemia drug. This research focuses on the plasma and liver metabolites in the following four groups of rats: control, a hyperlipidemia model, a hyperlipidemia model treated with GP and a hyperlipidemia model treated with atorvastatin. Using (1)H-NMR-based metabonomics, we elucidated the therapeutic mechanisms of GP and atorvastatin. Orthogonal Partial Least Squares-Discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) plotting of the metabolic state and analysis of potential biomarkers in the plasma and liver correlated well with the results of biochemical assays. GP can effectively affect lipid metabolism, and it exerts its anti-hyperlipidemia effect by elevating the level of phosphatidylcholine and decreasing the level of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). In contrast, atorvastatin affects hyperlipidemia mainly during lipid metabolism and protein metabolism in vivo.