The present study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of Gypsophila elegans isoorientin-2″-O-α-l-arabinopyranosyl (GEI) on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), to reveal the underlying mechanism of GEI against hepatic fibrosis. Our study showed that GEI significantly alleviated liver injury induced by porcine serum (PS) in rats; it notably alleviated collagen accumulation as evidenced by a significant decrease in the levels of collagen biomarkers including hyaluronic acid, laminin, hydroxyproline and procollagen III N-terminal peptide. Moreover, GEI treatment markedly decreased the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway and significantly inhibited the generation of excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) components by restoring the balance between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Additionally, the cell experiments in vitro showed that GEI strongly inhibited HSC proliferation, migration and clonogenicity and markedly induced HSC apoptosis. Moreover, GEI caused cell cycle arrest at G2 phase. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that GEI significantly alleviates PS-induced hepatic fibrosis by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway, restoring the balance between MMPs and TIMPs, and suppressing HSC activation.