Diabetic nephropathy is one of the various complications of diabetes mellitus, affecting patients for lifetime. Earlier studies have revealed that genipin can not only improve diabetes, but also induce cytotoxicity. Therefore, it is not clear which effect of genipin on kidneys occurs, when it is used in the treatment of diabetes. In the present study, we performed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics analysis of urine and kidney tissue samples obtained from diabetic rats to explore the change of endogenous metabolites associated with diabetes and concomitant kidney disease. Nine significant differential metabolites that were closely related to renal function were screened. They were mainly related to three metabolic pathways: synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, and butanoate metabolism, which are involved in methylamine metabolism, energy metabolism and amino acid metabolism. In addition, after the intervention of genipin, the metabolic levels of all the metabolites tended to be normal, indicating a protective effect of genipin on kidneys. Our results may be helpful for understanding the antidiabetic effect of genipin.