"Gabi" or taro leaves: Wrong handling makes it itchy!

Philippines
March 15, 2010 8:49pm CST
What is in the "gabi" or taro leaves that makes it itchy when you handle or cook it wrong? My family were talking about it over breakfast. My mom is a great cook and she makes delicious "laing" (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk) and she definitely knows how to handle these leaves right. I guess it just made me wonder what is in this plant that makes it itchy when handled improperly. I really don't know. Anybody here has any ideas?